I have a sinful nature that sometimes rules my being and leads me down darkened paths. This might be shocking to my readers. It wasn’t shocking when Paul revealed his nature to the Romans (7:14-25)
There are things about ourselves that we clearly leave out of conversation. Those things about us that we confess in our closets that only God knows about. You wouldn’t buy a used car if the salesman told you all that was wrong with it. We fear the rejection and condemnation that comes with the revelation of our true selves.
If the camera followed us physically and spiritually, viewers would be shocked to find out who we really are. So why are we so quick to condemn in others the very vices we carry. Or do we condemn all but ours?
Yes, carrying a certain label (clergy, teacher, leader, parent, spouse) implies a certain standard or code of conduct. But even on our best days, we don’t score a perfect 10 on that code.
Or is hypocrisy reserved for those who yell the loudest? Are those who bomb abortion clinics but yet condone tax evasion excused? What about those who condemn homosexuality but struggle with porn addiction?
I know this is a sensitive subject. But if we are to be real in our relationships we need to be honest first with ourselves by admitting our own personal hypocrisy. We don’t have it as together as we think we do. I know I don’t. Every week in the news we read about some public figures personal struggle and we instantly shake our heads in disgust.
Paul tried and admitted his own failings. There’s always a “but” though. He declared deliverance from this cycle was available (Romans 7:25) and that the very One who delivers would not condemn (Romans 8:1) but would set us free!
I don’t know about you but that statement alone lifts such a heavy burden from my shoulders. It says I don’t have to be shackled by the chain of guilt. But it’s also not an excuse. A recovering alcoholic probably shouldn’t live next to a pub. Neither should a food addict move into the apartment above a donut shop. We have a role to play in our own deliverance and that’s to avoid trying to combat our vices with sheer willpower–a losing venture. If willpower was all it took, we wouldn’t need a savior and The Cross would have no meaning.
I believe my (our) hypocrisy is a symptom of a God-sized hole only He can fill. So let him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8 NIV)