dead isn't being alive." --
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.
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
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"
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
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
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
We must grieve the gap
between our ideals and our reality, but never
settle for the deception of utter consistency in a
Ours is a necessary
In HOPE -