As a pastor I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t a hypocrite every now and then; perhaps a little more often, actually. Not that I’m labelling all pastors as hypocritical – I can, in all fairness, only speak about yours truly. If I was to point the finger elsewhere, then that would be an example of my hypocrisy, and yes, I’ve certainly judged others!
It can be a rather depressing state of affairs when you set out – in a salient season, God’s call irrepressible – to answer that call – vowing to give God your everything – and then, so often, fall short of that solemn promise.
Of course, God knows we cannot keep our promises; it’s our intent he’s interested in, and the manner of our spiritual resilience to bounce back when we feel most defeated.
One of the signs of my hypocrisy is when bitterness and resentment cloud my judgment – when it’s only I that’s been wronged; when it’s their entire fault.
And, of course, in the clarity of mind and heart we conjure deception.
None of us is anything like the pure-hearted, snow-white Lamb that was slain. Do any of us deserve the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength, the honour, the glory, or the blessing (Revelation 5:12) that Jesus deserves?
We are so fortunate that the grace of God imputes the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength, the honour, the glory, and the blessing over us!
None of the work have we done. We battle to even bear our crosses, yet Jesus was the one crucified. I drop my cross and despise it so regularly; but, praise God, his Light breaks through, and again, I see my folly in the deception.
My pride has daily portions that my humility has not. I’m kind, but so often because I know I’ll be blessed. My patience is easily worn thin. I love the comfortable, contemplative life – too much sometimes. I love the busy life – too much sometimes. I disrespect my wife when I could love her. I elevate my own estimations, some of which is healthy self-esteem, but not all of it’s healthy. This is not an exhaustible list.
But God has chosen – in the glorious riches of his grace, even because I deserve it least of all – to be illogically merciful. My Lord loved me first, and gave himself for me, so I would never really have to pay the price for my hypocrisy.
The elixir for hypocrisy is honesty; to see ourselves in context of Jesus’ glorious Light – a light that both reveals and purges the darkness.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.