It’s 1:30 on Friday morning, and I’m laying in bed not feeling well.
And on top of that, I’m a hypocrite. And I have to not only confess that before God, but apologize to my oldest son and start acting on what I’ve been preaching to him.
Before school even got out, I started talking to Tim about the summer. That he needs to get a job. I need to finish teaching him to drive. And that he needs to get in better shape to prepare to enlist in the Navy. And then I told him that I would join him on the quest to get into better shape. Ugh.
Our plan was to start on Sunday of this week. And we did, we both got up and went outside–I jogged a little and walked a lot, he jogged a lot and walked a little. This continued on Monday as well. Then Tuesday came.
I had overslept a bit and he came and got me up. When I saw the time, I told him that I was sorry but that I had to get my Bible study and prayer time started so I could begin work on time. I could tell he was disappointed. But inside I was relieved.
Wednesday came. I was already awake, studying and praying, so I told him to go on without me. I could see in his eyes this time the disappointment. We were supposed to be doing this exercise thing as a team. I was letting him down. But once again, inside, selfishly I was relieved.
This morning, I heard the door open and close at around 6 am. This time he didn’t even bother asking me, but instead went jogging by himself. Ugh.
I’ve been laying here praying and trying to go to sleep, but I can’t quite shake the impact my hypocrisy had, had. I’ve asked God for forgiveness, now I need to ask Tim forgiveness and no matter what time I get to sleep tonight, I must get up and walk/jog with him tomorrow morning.
Nobody likes hypocrisy. But especially when it is directed toward you. We find it confusing, irritating, and it leads to calling into question all that a person has said or done. And in the area of being a follower of Jesus, there is no room for hypocrisy. For hypocrisy is one of the excuses people use for not coming to church–they see church members who act no different than anyone else in the world. Why waste your Sunday Morning when it changes nothing?
And Christ followers sadly can even be hypocrites amongst themselves, preaching something as truth and then not living that truth. It can create much pain and confusion.
Jesus had much to say about hypocrisy. He referred to the Pharisees, the leading Jewish religious group during the first century, as hypocrites–citing numerous examples to back up his claim. And they knew Jesus was right, so they sought to have Jesus killed.
But what about hypocrisy amongst each other, like the hypocrisy that I treated Timothy with these last couple of days? Scripture has much to say about that, as well:
Romans 2:17-21: But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
And there are many, many other verses that speak to hypocrisy.
I know there are times when I am hypocritical, and I hate that, because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I want what I say to match what I do. Thus why I am going walking this morning regardless of the amount of sleep I get or what time either Tim or I wake up. And I will sheepishly apologize to him. And to God. Ugh.
We each have been hurt at one time or another by the hypocrisy of someone else. The person that says one thing, but changes or does something different. Especially when it comes to what we see in scripture. And it is confusing, and difficult to understand why. Particularly if this is someone you had high respect for. Someone that was a friend.
But we can learn from those instances to guard our minds against hypocrisy in our own lives. Oh, it’s not easy–like my story about jogging proves. It can seem like a small thing, but that small pebble makes ripples in the pond–affecting so much more than just the small area where the rock was dropped–spreading out throughout the entire pond.
Before becoming a believer, I lived a terribly hypocritical life. Goodness, I was absolutely ate up with it. The definition of a hypocrite is someone who “pretends to have virtue, morals or religious beliefs that he or she does not actually possess, especially persons whose actions belie stated beliefs.” Wow. That was me before Christ. And I don’t ever want to live there again. Please God, help me to never clothe myself in hypocrisy again like that. It’s such a hurtful thing, hypocrisy. There is no good that can come from it.
So, I suppose I should try to sleep again. I have walking to do in the morning. Walking to be done without hypocrisy.