Devotional

“To nobody’s surprise there are hypocrites in the church? Yes, and in the mall and at the home. Don’t hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the mirror. Hypocrites? Yes. See that you make the number one less.” –  Billy Sunday

Throughoutt the years, one of the general suppositions and objections to Christianity is that the church is filled with hypocrites. People have gone to school on the words and actions of Christians whose walk doesn’t always match their talk. They have a fish on their car, but become a madman when someone cuts them off.

Are Christians hypocrites? Guilty as charged. I doubt if too many people would contest that statement. Most would admit it and move on.  And why not, as followers of Jesus, we are well aware of our tendency toward hypocrisy. If we are willing to take an honest look at ourselves, regardless of our perspectives on faith, we will find a life riddled with broken promises and inconsistencies. Even with the best intentions, our beliefs often don’t match our actions. It’s just part of being human. Jesus challenges us to love our neighbors, yet naturally tend to care more about ourselves.  

We are all adept at saying one thing and doing another. But that doesn’t make it OK. The hypocrisy of Christians has caused too many people to walk away from the idea of faith and religion. It’s resulted in people disregarding a loving, forgiving God because of how imperfectly we represent Jesus to the world around us.

I hate when I realize that I’ve been hypocritical. I can’t begin to express to you the pain I’ve felt when I know I’ve broken a promise, let someone down, or failed to follow through on a commitment. Have you ever felt that way? One of the things I love about Easter is that it reminds me that Jesus accomplished exactly what He said He would. Everything He preached, He backed up with action. Easter reminds me that Jesus doesn’t make promises He can’t keep. Even if His followers get stuck in hypocrisy, Jesus never does. In a world full of hypocrisy, Jesus is and has been the only one to be completely, unequivocally non-hypocritical. 

The cure to hypocrisy in the church is to be authentic about our sinfulness and authentic about the righteousness of Christ that is applied to us when we accept Him as Lord and Savior.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does hypocrisy hinder the work of the church? 
  2. How can we be more authentic in the church?