In HOPE

  In HOPE 7.17                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Christopher J.H. Wright has written a helpful and insightful little book -- Knowing the Holy Spirit Through the Old Testament (IVP,2006: 160 pages). Wright connects the dots between the Old Testament and New Testament teaching, and writes well. If you'd like to grasp more of the biblical teaching on the work and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, this book will certainly help.

 Hope Happenings

Tomorrow, pastors, missionaries, and church staff members will gather at Hope for an intensive session of study over the next 8 days, as part of their Masters degree coursework. These leaders from across the U.S. will deepen their biblical, professional, and personal development. Would you lift them briefly in prayer?

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"Unbeing dead isn't being alive." -- e.e.cummings


Our Necessary Hypocrisy

People who fail to aspire to any standard higher than what they already live out, pose a genuine risk to society.

When our fallen condition becomes the acceptable benchmark, we plateau with grave consequences. However,  those who advocate a higher standard but fall short of it in practice, receive our strongest criticism.

When a person's words and deeds don't align perfectly, we quickly label them as duplicitous, two-faced, double-standard hypocrites. We expect any profession to be matched by consistent living. But such hasty and harsh judgement may actually breed a deeper spiritual problem.

When we feel that we must avoid hypocrisy at all costs, we tend to fall into one of two deceptions.

On the one hand, we may deceive others about the truth and reality of our lives. We create a facade to hide our flaws and failures. We specialize in "image management" -- our image.

On the other hand, and perhaps more sinister, we may deceive ourselves. The Apostle John wrote, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8) To avoid the charge of hypocrisy we project to others only our best side and, with time, we grow blind to our weaknesses and justify our "minor" indiscretions.

If we see our own sinfulness and have the courage to acknowledge our own failures AND at the same time advocate the higher standards of the Kingdom, we cannot avoid "hypocrisy" as the world defines it. The "gap" actually affirms our commitment to Christ and the transforming journey of faith.

To see my sinfulness and not affirm a higher goal, is to wallow in darkness and deny the life-changing potential of the Kingdom and the Gospel. Our silence either consigns us to hopelessness or drives us to spiritual arrogance.

Perhaps when onlookers accuse us of hypocrisy, we might accept it more as a backhanded compliment than a hurtful criticism. Those whose standards are only as high as their lifestyles never change society.

We must grieve the gap between our ideals and our reality, but never settle for the deception of utter consistency in a fallen world.

Ours is a necessary hypocrisy.

In HOPE -

David

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For back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2007) go to http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.