I’ve blogged the last two days about hypocrisy and our need to be more authentic, but there is one more detail that demands our attention.
In yesterdays’ blog I mentioned a book entitled Unchristian and the statistic that 85% of young adults believe that Christians are hypocrites – saying one thing but doing another. That is a sobering reality but there is another statistic from the same book that is also disturbing.
Forty-seven percent of young adults inside the church hold the same opinion, that Christians are hypocrites.
As a pastor and father of six children who have been raised in the church this is very alarming. It is one reason why so many young people who grow up in the church end up walking away from church and God after they graduate.
Jesus’ harshest words were directed at the teachers of the law and Pharisees because of this issue of hypocrisy. And according to Jesus, hypocrisy is not just the failure to live up to what we aspire to, we all do that; the real core issue that makes hypocrisy so ugly is giving attention to outward things in an attempt to make people think that you are actually living up to what you aspire to.
The reality is that we aren’t doing as well as we think we are. It’s so easy to recognize hypocrisy in others but miss our own. In Matthew 23 Jesus levels some hard-hitting indictments at the religious leaders and at one point says this:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites – you blind men!
In some ways, these men had to be aware of their hypocrisy. But in other ways, they were not. They were blind to their own sinfulness and hypocrisy. And the same is true of us. Just as there are blind spots when we drive, there are blind spots when we consider how we are doing in living authentically as God intended.
The solution? Humility of heart that invites others to speak into our lives about those areas we might be blind to. It’s not easy, but it is very possible and absolutely necessary.