Am I a Hypocrite?

Am I? I had to ask God, “Am I a hypocrite?” This isn’t a question we should be afraid of although Jesus was quite stern when He said:

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans'” (Matthew 15:7-9).

I was prompted to ask myself this question after I commented on a Facebook post from a young man who is an intern in our ministry. He had shared a picture of an arm tattoo with beautiful imagery and commented that it spoke to him. That’s what art does–a picture is worth a thousand words. I personally don’t have any tattoos but I have many friends who do. My motto has always been if you have some, ok… but don’t get anymore. Let your words and life speak for you.

I noticed a good friend commented on his Facebook post something along these same lines, so as a mama in general and a mama in our ministry, I shared as well that I thought he was a bright light without it. Then I got off Facebook and went to my son’s ballgame. On the way home, I saw he had deleted his original post and added a new one apologizing if he offended any Christians for sharing his desire for a tattoo, with a second apology to non-believers who may have been put off by the argument. (I must have missed that part).

I felt bad for him because although I have many reasons for encouraging him not to get a tattoo, strife is of greater consequence and he recognized that. I commented again–only to delete my comment altogether within a few minutes. Why? Because the bandwagon started again and I wanted off. I think of Facebook as a group standing around talking and if I don’t like the conversation, I leave.

And that’s when I asked myself: Am I a hypocrite?

I was in the conversation, sharing my sincere (and what I thought was non-confrontal) thoughts only to step away later. When I asked the Lord this question, He answered like He always does: Look in My Word. So I did:

“Stop judging so you will not be judged. Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you. So why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer’s eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to another believer, ‘Let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,’ when you have a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer’s eye. Don’t give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls to pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them and then tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:1-6).

I’ve read this before and I understand the wisdom in these instructions. But I had never seen the connection between judging and being torn apart by those who don’t want wisdom. Our intern is a bright young man with a bright future. He showed more wisdom than most who shared comments on his posts. As for the rest of us, we have to ask ourselves if we answered out of wisdom or pride?

Webster’s says a hypocrite is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions contradict stated beliefs.

I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I have a sincere love for God’s Word and I hope my actions speak louder than my words. But nonetheless, my heart was saddened at the bandwagon of Christians who will fight to make a point –even blasting other Christians. I think Jesus would say, “You hypocrite!” Where is love? Where is wisdom? Where is common sense?

First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will have perfect clarity to help remove a speck from your brother’s eye. And be careful of giving your wisdom to those who will trample it and then turn and tear you to pieces.

I’ve definitely been a hypocrite at some point or another, but it’s not in my heart to be one. As God’s children, the righteousness of Christ, it’s good to check ourselves from time to time. It’s not hypocritical to speak up and then step away when things go sour. [Tweet “What’s hypocritical is to trample others to pieces and then boast of our love.”]

Lord, help us answer this question.

9 thoughts on “Am I a Hypocrite?

  1. Well-said Ms Daphne!

    I also saw the Facebook post last night, but due to previous experiences in addressing the subject of tattoos and the confrontations that resulted I chose only to “like” the comments that I agreed with – including yours (I also missed the argument). It really grieves my heart that Christians react the way they do on things like this. It is one thing to state your convictions, or lack of, but quiet another to “trample others to pieces and then boast of our love.”

    The Bible defines love as patient and kind – not boastful or proud, arrogant or rude. Any
    time we become confrontational (trampling others to pieces) we are being proud, arrogant and rude – not being Christ-like.

    “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

    • Thanks for sharing Sonia. Regarding tattoos, I want to add something I just told someone else… I’m not a fan of tattoos. I’m always surprised when people want them. But I have lots and lots of friends in my life that I know love God and have tattoos. So it’s more of a “why?” to me than anything else. Everyone has their “why” it’s just not something I get. That’s all. Which is why I shared this on my blog today. I don’t want to judge. I have my convictions and that’s all I’m accountable for (just like every person). For whatever reason, God has never given me peace about it but I’ve learned that doesn’t mean it’s across the board for everyone. It’s important we obey our own convictions 🙂 God cares more about our love for each other than tattoos on our body <<< THAT I am sure of!

  2. Thank you Ms. Daphne! I did not see the post, however have had this conversation many times with many different people. It seems every time, no matter the circle, there is someone who seems to escalate it into something that ends up with someone getting upset. Not a conversation i let myself get involved in anymore. You are so right, our love speaks way louder than their tattoos! It is something that i have never wanted, however i have a child that has one and loves it and a husband that has one who now wishes he didn’t. I have met people with many tattoos and some are great witnesses for the Lord regardless of what they have on their arm or chest. It is about our love walk for one another and for the lost. If we make it about the tattoo rather than what Jesus did for them, we will likely not win them for the kingdom! Thank you for always being so seasoned with your messages! Love and blessings!!

    • It’s always been about love Marci. I think our passion (or defense) of certain topics causes us to momentarily forget that sometimes. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. I loved the entire article and it was definitely good “word”. I too feel that so many Christians are quick to judge others. We lack to see that God is working in us all at different stages in our lives. My favorite scripture is Phillippians 1:6 which says, Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
    Which only tells me if someone is honestly wanting to change and yet falls or fails that he can be hopeful that Christ is working on him to complete his work and the process is not really a quick one. Why are we to judge others when we too are being perfected daily thru our shortcomings and failures. AMEN?

  4. I did not see the heart ache either but I am one that is for sure not wanting to judge. I to have a lot ofPeople in my life with them just was thinking he was wanting to know what people thought. I am one to repent quickly also and I got back in touch with him to make it right. I also told him that the Lord told us in His word the we all had to work out our own salvation. I never saw are heard the debate but that should never be to hurt our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you all for sharing. I never get in and put a input but I was just thinking if it was a question and not a debate.

  5. Great word, Daphne. We all just need to concentrate on how we love one another and check our attitudes. I don’t want to be a hypocrite either, but I find myself having to repent at times because I fail … God bless you! ‘Love you!

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