Apr

12

You’re Not A Hypocrite If…

By pastorbillwalden

As a pastor, I have many times heard Christians tell me that they feel like a hypocrite.  jessie-mask

That sentiment often results in them not wanting to come to church until they “quit being a hypocrite”.  They don’t feel like they can share the Gospel because they are “such a hypocrite”.  They could never serve God until they have victory over a certain sinful behavior, and “quit being such a hypocrite”.

And then there is the classic statement of many Unbelievers: “The Church is FULL of hypocrites”!  I say that it’s not! The greater percentage of hypocrites are outside of the Church.

Regarding hypocrisy, there is a great misunderstanding among many Christians, many of whom are the sweetest and most tenderhearted people in the Church.

The misunderstanding goes like this:
1. I am a Christian.
2. I know how a Christian should live.
3. I don’t always live that way.
4. Therefore, I am a hypocrite.

That line of thinking is a huge error that exists among many of God’s true children.

A hypocrite can be best defined as a play actor who wears a mask. Someone who intentionally pretends to be someone or something that they aren’t. They purposely deceive and pretend. They don’t want people to know the truth about them. They want people to think highly of them, but seek to gain that recognition through deceptive means.

THAT is a hypocrite.

The dear people that come to me, believing themselves to be hypocrites, are the first to declare their failures. They share that they struggle with sin, that they do things they wished they didn’t do, and that they fail to do what they ought to do. They are generally hard on themselves, and in no way pretend to be something that they aren’t. They are NOT hypocrites.

Well what are they then? They are Christians who struggle with sin. They do make mistakes; they sometimes do give in to temptation, and they may go astray. They indeed may have faults, but hypocrisy isn’t one of them. They are honest about who they are, and how they want to change.

In my experience, a hypocrite will NOT come and share openly about their sins, but strive to put on a good Christian masquerade. They know the Bible, they talk and sound like Christians, but deep inside, they know they are liars and pretenders. THEY are the true hypocrites.

These dear saints who believe themselves to be hypocrites, aren’t.  The hypocrite is the one who won’t be honest.  The understanding of this situation is entirely backwards.

So…Christian…do you struggle with sin? Do you feel like a failure?  Are you keenly aware of what you ought to do, but don’t do?  Have you been one willing or wanting to share your failures with others.  If that is the case, then know this:  You are NOT a hypocrite.  You are a struggling Christian that has a place in God’s Church, and needs to be among the saints.

I doubt that any true hypocrite might be reading this, but if you are, you are in bondage to your lie.  Your masquerading makes you a prisoner, and Jesus wants to free you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man”.

Translation: we all struggle with many of the same problems and sins.  Your struggle is not unique to you.  Others share it too. You are not alone in your sins and temptations.

John 8:36, Jesus said, “If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed”.

Are there degrees of hypocrisy?
Yes, I think so.  But as we realize our sins, and as we are willing to share that struggle with others, know this: You are not a hypocrite.  You may be sinning, and if you are, you need to repent, but hypocrisy is not present when one is confessing.

Finally, remember that God sees behind every mask, but He loves us in spite of our masquerades, and longs to set us free.

14 Responses so far

Pastor Bill:

Another wonderful, truthful, and grace-filled article. This ought to really set some saints free!

Once our lives are in the “light,” darkness cannot touch us.

Blessings to you!

Bill

I don’t know what to say other than Amen Brother.

That’s awesome Bill. Very freeing indeed. There is true freedom in Christ.
God richly bless you!
Mark

Thanks for sharing that truth. I too think knowing this truth will be very freeing to many. Great message.

Hi Pastor Bill;
Word! God’s given you such rich insight.

When Jesus tells us in Luke 12:1 “…Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” we recognize that the Pharisees were ‘church’ leaders.

Of course the Pharisees rejected Jesus and were ‘self-righteous’ in their own eyes, as Jesus pointed out over and over to their faces – yet isn’t the temptation to hypocrisy always before us, especially the longer we are in church?

Aren’t we continually tempted to stay ‘in our comfort zones’ – and have our own little ‘clicks’ just like the world? And wouldn’t that also be a form of hyporcrisy?

Aren’t we all tempted to ‘go through the motions’ of going to church and singing worship songs, without having it be meaningful or from our heart in worship to our Lord, and then wouldn’t that also be a form of hypocrisy?

And isn’t finding fault with others when we are blinded by our own sin, which is like trying to remove a splinter from the eye of another when there is a plank in our own, also a form of hypocrisy in the church?

Sometimes we may feel like a hypocrite when we are being convicted of a sin that we love and don’t want to repent of.

But there are also times when the devil will condemn us for our failures even after we’ve repented, and we don’t experience God’s peace.

Then we must recognize the spiritual battle and be on the offensive and put on the whole armor of God.

We don’t want to own the thoughts that the devil tempts us with, they are lies. We own the truth of God’s word and remember what He says about us. He loves us!

When we are tempted to feel like a hypocrite because we are in a spiritual battle, we must hold onto God truths above our feelings, and rejoice in Him by faith. Our feelings will follow and the devil will flee . . . until the next time.

There are certainly hyporcrites in church, especially in churches who are ‘seeker friendly’ and who don’t speak of sin, consequences of sin, death and hell.

Blessings to all in Christ!

This gives us much hope! Thanks.

Hey Pastor Bill,

Loved the blog. I totally agree. My professor in college used to say, “In the church, most of us aren’t full-on hypocrites. We are what I would call semis who are working through all of this stuff by God’s grace. Oh and if you’re not a semi, you’re probably full-on!”

-Matt

Thank you for this, I was looking for a devotional study to the book of James and came upon this, I immediatly emailed it to a friend of mine who is struggling with this issue.
Thank you so much.

.

Great post. Thanx for the insight. I now have a label. I am a Christian who struggles with sin. I am so like Paul. The things I want to do, I don’t do and the things I don’t want to do, I do. I am still a sinner saved by grace.

Dear Pastor,

I do agree with you regarding those that truelly reflect and examine their lives. We all fall short. However, there are many that do not take the time to reflect or to examine their motives, instead simply continue on with their self-affirming ways. Their motives are usually varied but include pride, immaturity, narcissism, or some combination of these traits. These are the hypocrites that people refer to when they say that they will not set foot in any church. These are the people that drive a wedge between God and those that seek Him. That’s not to mention those hypocrites that use God to extort favors and other resources from people who simply want to worship God. These hypocrites use the good will of the innocents to benefit from the efforts of others all the while contributing little to nothing in the bargain. Such people need to be weeded out of the church and allowed to proclaim their self-love prinicples with their most beloved disciples- themselves.

Thank you very much. Today, I felt like the biggest hypocrite ever because I was struggling with sin so bad and losing. I told my grandmother and my best friend about it and they agreed to pray for me. I am very thankful that you have taken the time to write this and I thank God He led me to it.

God bless

Thank you for this! I struggle with this very question as a Christian who struggles with sin. I am disobedient at times and I hate it. The pull of the world at times gets to me but I don’t want it to. Praise Jesus that His grace is enough.

I have questions though. Is keeping some struggles between me and God wrong? For instance keeping them from family, a spouse or someone I’m leading in discipleship. It seems wise to keep some matters between me and God but is this holy or leaning on my own understanding?

How transparent are we to be with a spouse? A close friend or Christian? Unbelievers at work etc?

Hey there…sorry for the delayed response.
The issue of transparency is a tricky subject.
It is good to have some people to open up to, but I suggest that you be extremely discerning.

Here are some thoughts as you consider who to talk to:
1. Do you admire this person’s life with God?
2. Do you ever hear them speaking poorly of others in public? If they do, they may air out your dirty laundry.
3. Do you know that they are for you and not against you?

There are three quick thoughts to consider.
I wouldn’t talk to anyone unless they passed those questions with flying colors.

Blessings…

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