“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
~Matthew 7:3 (NIV).
MOST people cannot stand hypocrites; it’s a rather sweet irony then that those most hypocritical often have the most problem with “hypocrites.” Hypocrisy works thus. Yet, hypocrisy describes all of us! Let us explore one of the most positive things that come from hypocrisy—the platform for growth.
We are all hypocrites—‘No!’ I hear you say, ‘Not me!’ Yes, you too. And me! Shudder to think, it’s our mental and emotional instincts and responses that most often give us away, if not our words and acts that proceed from them; it’s our nature to judge people. It’s our nature to fall for the thinking that we’re better than we actually are. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?
Turning this to a positive is easy, however. As God shines his truth, bright-shining in our lives via our conscious awareness, and through our consciences upon reflection, he uses our hypocrisy as a mirror. If we’re observant for it, his Spirit will reveal what further work he’s got for us in the midst of experience toward that which he’s fashioning in us more globally.
Sure, the realisation of our hypocritical moments will for a moment make us cringe, and this is not all bad—indeed, we feel as King David did, forgiven for his sins in Psalms 51 and 32, as they’re brought honestly before the throne of grace.
Things we can do:
- Get a full, heart-healing reconciliation of the wrongs thought, felt or done. Sometimes it’s a moment’s reflection; at other times it requires more of a full analysis.
- Decide on a plan to make restitution (if necessary). For times when we’ve only transgressed someone in our minds we need to consider some thoughts of ongoing compassion for these people. When we’ve actually transgressed we can make amends, but some forethought might be necessary.
- When actually conducting the recompense, being as authentic, open and courageous as possible, be prepared for and not surprised by negative reactions. Restitution is a gift some people do not take kindly in receiving. We must prepare ourselves that we did the best we could whatever response we get. We need to leave smiling, accepting, moving on.
As the title of the article refers, our characters are moulded in our growing awareness of, and action toward mitigating, our hypocrisy. In approaching the truth of our propensity to dabble in the judgment of others, and the elevation of our own estimations, we start to understand the seriousness of the matter and begin not to stand for it.
And in this, glory to God!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.