Winter is coming, but I need to prepare for the heat. That’s not just because I live in Texas but it’s also because I’ve been feeling like a hypocrite. I feel the heat of accusation on the back of my neck. I am far from a righteous man (he lives like 20 minutes away from me) and I feel myself accusing me of hypocrisy all the time.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter (a blossoming young activist) posted something about men suppressing women and holding women back in several aspects of life, politics, economy, etc. I responded back that not all men do. She gave the most beautiful response to me then, that even well intentioned men do it without even thinking…. Suddenly I was hit with it… Wow, I did it, by responding to her to claim that not all men do that I was diminishing her voice. Dang….
So that’s the normal type of hypocrisy, though unconscious I was thinking and speaking in one way but acting in another. Maybe that kind is worse, my chauvinism is so ingrained in my psyche that it slips out without me knowing it (eh hem, your Freudian slip is showing…).
I’m reminded of the old joke about the Preacher whose bicycle came up missing one day and he was really upset. He talked to his Deacon about how to go about finding the thief without accusing and thereby offending someone who might be innocent. The Deacon advised him to preach about the 10 commandments the following Sunday and really hit “Thou Shalt Not Steal” really hard and then watch the congregation for who looked nervous….
The fateful Sunday rolled around and the Preacher called up his Fire and Brimstone and was filled with the passion of the sermon. The Deacon was feeling the Spirit and felt the crescendo building up to “Thou Shalt not Steal,” but then the Preacher hit that one no differently from the rest, in fact if anything there was a pronounced diminuendo starting with “Shalt not Steal.”
After the service the Deacon asked him about it, “I thought you were going to really hammer ‘shalt not steal,’ I was ready for the Spirit! What happened?”
A sly grin turned up the corners of the Preaches mouth, “Well Deacon, I was going to, I was ready to call down the fire!”
“Amen!” answered the Deacon.
The Preacher stood up straighter and pounded his fist on the pulpit, “I was ready to call down the Brimstone!”
“Preach it!” exclaimed the Deacon.
“But then,” said the Preacher as his shoulders slumped and he softened his voice “when I got to ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ I remembered where I left my bicycle….”
“Oh,” murmured the Deacon, and they quietly walked out of the church.
O.K. another old and slightly corney joke but it illustrates my point. We are all hypocrites in some way, because we are human. Look even saying, “we are all hypocrites,” is hypocrisy because I’m diluting my guilt by spreading it to y’all. Wow…. Hard to avoid the heat of hypocrisy….
I’ll tell you something else, I was once accused of acting like a hero to hide the fact that I’m a monster. It really made me mad and I shut off from that person for a while. How dare she?!?! How dare she be so right? Hypocrite!
I had even put on my facebooks one time that “I’m like a nightmare, dressed like a daydream.” I thought I was kidding but dang old Taylor Swift wrote that lyric on my heart (she has that way with me.) Seriously though, I am just about the most honest person you could ever hope to meet, except when I’m hiding my addiction, then I’m like Pinocchio but without the nose…. (did Pinocchio lie a lot or did his nose just grow when he did? For the sake of the story just roll with me and assume he lied a bunch o.k.? Thanks)
Who else could love someone like crazy and be totally devoted to her and do anything for her but lie right to her face for a year? No one but a hypocrite.
I would have fought a team of Chuck Norris ninjas to protect my love against any danger, but I wouldn’t or couldn’t fight my own addiction, which was the real source of danger for her. My addiction was such a sneaky ninja that I hid it even from myself. Hypocrite.
In my volunteer work we were sharing stories about how we found God, a kind and brilliant man whom I admire told us that he lost his wife and son within months of each other and his life was spiraling out of control when God sent out a lifeline. I was afraid to tell my story, how I let addiction crush me down to my knees before I finally surrendered… Hypocrite.
Now I’m writing this blog, and some people who know me, and know what I’ve done would accuse, “Hypocrite!” and they’d be right. I am a hypocrite, I follow God, and I continue to be a sinner. I’m also forgiven. I feel the heat, from without and within… but I know who is in charge of applying heat, and he would love for me to shut up and stop trying to spread the word, he’s applying the heat and telling me that I’m not worth it and that I should be too ashamed to tell people about how I found God…. Hypocrite.
Whenever I’m feeling the heat I pray and offer up my worry and my hypocrisy, I get down on my knees and try to sink my roots into my faith and trust in God. Jeremiah 17: 7, 8 helps me remember what do to when the heat comes….
Jeremiah 17: 7,8. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water and sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Oh and confession here… this blog wasn’t originally just to help others who might be ashamed to find Jesus, it was to get the attention of the woman I hurt, and maybe soften her heart to me by showing her the change God is making in me… Hypocrite!