hyp·o·crite [hip-uh-krit] noun
1.a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2.a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
In short, a hypocrite is someone who is not what they claim to be
According to one woman, I am a hypocrite. She sent me an email expressly to tell me and how low her opinions of me are. I readily admitted I can be a hypocrite and have been but don't make a practice of it. I don't know of a human being alive who isn't at one time or another. We all fall short of how we want to act and how we act. That behavior is a problem, when it is a lifestyle. It is not a lifestyle with me. What you see is what you get. I will even warn you about the nasty part of my personality, when warranted.
Why did I raise her ire? I am a moderator at a cycling website and the owner enforces Christian values. She did not like the Christian values or me moderating her.
I will walk a long way to work with people. I'm unsure why other than Christ has walked a long way with me. But, just as Christ got fed up with the money changers, I get fed up, too. I don't care for ugly confrontation and will work to resolve it quietly, quickly, and fairly. If all efforts don't end attacks, a warning is issued. If that doesn't stop attacks, the full effect is released and that usually shuts people down. The full effect is what surprises people. I am not ugly about it but I am even more blunt than usual and thorough in my observations and not the least encouraging at those points in time. Often it seems people think their bad behavior will go completely unnoticed forever and ever.
This woman, who accused me of being a hypocrite, was surprised. Her boyfriend told her I am not one to start a confrontation but I am one to end a confrontation, if one insists on continuing it. He also informed her that she wouldn't like the ending. She didn't believe him. She should have. She didn't like what she started. She didn't like her own stink.
But what is a hypocrite in God's eyes? My pastor, Jim Shaddix, taught a lesson on that recently, which recalled the entire event that led to me being called a hypocrite by a woman that doesn't know me. A hypocrite in God's eyes is a person without God who is trying to act like a person with God. Jim backed this up with Matthew 6:1-18, cf. Matthew 7:5; 15:6-9; 23:14-15, 25-32; Luke 12:56; 13:15.
He went further to provide characteristics of a hypocrite.
1. You are blind to your own faults. Matthew 7:5
2. You put tradition over the Bible. Matthew 15:6-9
3. You influence others for religion instead of for Christ. Matthew 23:14-15
4. You put on a religious front to cover an evil heart. Matthew 23:25-28
5. You refuse to acknowledge the similarity between you and your predecessors. Matthew 23:29-32.
In God's eyes, a hypocrite is also a person who does right things for the wrong reasons. Matthew 6:1, cf. Amos 5:21-24; Matthew 5:14-16; Mark 7:6-7
A hypocrite, to God, is a person who exchanges heavenly rewards for earthly recognition. Matthew 6:1
I can't cover the whole lesson here but it is worth hearing. If you are interested, contact Riverside Baptist's Hope for Today to get it.
Ultimately, I fall short of God's definitions occasionally, too, not just man's definitions. What is redeeming about me? I am in relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and through Him I am redeemed and made righteous because of his finished work on the cross.
At a business meeting recently, a local politician was the guest speaker. He's a young man, with a bright future. He indicated that some of us were being too negative in the meeting stating facts about the state of the economy and government. Since when did facing naked reality become such a negative behavior?
I suspect the answer is, "when the politically correct era began under the Clinton's." We have become so afraid of words we cannot face naked reality. We need heaps of sweetening applied to get the facts. That is exactly what the local mayor was implying with, "You get more with honey than vinegar."
I've been thinking about that with respect to the Bible and the way God operates. God doesn't sugarcoat anything about the depravity of human nature. In His view, we're pretty darn bad. Compared to His unquestionable perfection we are pretty darn bad.
I've noticed many times in life that quite a few of us don't get the true meaning of sugarcoated words. So, the behavior we dislike never changes. I know people who take great delight in insulting others and the recipient never understands because it's been sugarcoated or couched in oblique language. They have the intellect and education to so do and use them routinely.
God reveals David's sinful status to him through Nathan in 2 Samuel 12. Nathan goes through the litany of David's sins. Nathan was sent by the Lord to open it with an analogy that inflamed King David. After David's response, Nathan informed the king know he was the object of the analogy. Nathan doesn't rant and rave, jump up and down, make false accusations, or belittle Kind David. He simply states the facts and what the Lord is going to do to King David.
We can only imagine what emotions King David's face revealed. Scripture records nothing more than his repentant words. I suspect he went through a range of emotions beginning with shock followed quickly by arrogant indignation to culminate in humble repentance. King David was the most powerful man in the world so God's convicting words through Nathan must have been an emotional ride.
I understand the philosophy of getting more with sugar than vinegar. Yet I see the result of so much sugar the message of our severe problems has been lost and the United States is in a world of trouble, that will take generations to work through.
God does not deal lightly with sin and He will not deal lightly with our debt. Our debt is indicative of deeper moral decay. The conservative groups have sprung up around the country because they are ready to stop the application of sugar, apply the vinegar, and get down to the gritty business of digging out of debt we are on the verge of pushing off to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They understand the medicine will be bitter and last longer than castor oil on the tastebut that sugar is killing their progeny.
In 2007, I backpacked into Havasupai. This remote Indian tribe has one of the most beautiful places on earth to call home. The round trip trek is about 20 miles and mostly flat. The mostly flat is what tripped me up.
In making plans for the trip, I decided that lighter weight hiking shoes would do fine. My pack weight was coming down significantly, too. Between a lower pack weight and flatter ground, yeah, a mid-weight hiking shoe would do fine.
Was I ever so painfully wrong! After the first ten miles, my feet had blisters. One foot was particularly bad. We spent three nights on tribal grounds and it was impossible to stay off my feet. There was too much to explore. Overall, they were getting better and I wasn't being too rambunctious. It was a time to relax, be a bit lazy and playful, and enjoy friends.
The trek out was the real killer for my feet. Some of the Indians felt pity for me and offered to give me a ride back on a horse or at least take my pack. I refused both. I got myself into that mess and I was going to get myself out, pack and all. I had a lesson to learn and I learned it.
I reduced my pack weight even more and I will not backpack in anything but hiking boots.
The really bad blisters on that one foot popped about two or three miles from the trailhead, where the adventure began. The pain was excruciating but I walked out with all of my stuff. It took weeks for the skin to heal and I couldn't wear shoes for quite awhile. Some of my friends didn't understand why I refused help but I do.
I was raised in a family that helped one another but also believed that each tub has to sit on its own bottom. In other words, you have to take responsibility for your life and the situations or problems you get into. Some people don't understand that but I do.
It builds knowledge, character, and strength. It also strengthens your faith in God.
I met a lady last weekend named Nancy through a church friend. Nancy is from Wisconsin but has lived her adult life in Denver. She never married and has no relatives here so you know she is one courageous and adventurous soul.
Nancy struck me as kind, generous, thoughtful, and interested in life. She is a nurse so her intellect needs no verification. Her interest in life was the most outstanding quality about her. You see, Nancy's breast cancer returned a year ago by metastasizing in her bones as well as other places. She can't beat it this time but hopefully they can keep it in remission through treatment, which often makes her ill.
She works still and enjoys her work for many reasons. One is that Nancy enjoys being productive. Another reason is she needs the social aspect of work. She enjoys the job and her coworkers.
She is keeping her home up to the best of her abilities. She recently hired someone to help clean. Her yard is in very good shape through her own efforts, primarily. I'd say Nancy is remarkable because the treatment has ravaged her body and she was skinny to begin with.
I admire and respect Nancy! She could stay home and mope about her bad fortune but she isn't. She could make everyone she comes in contact with her emotional hostage with her bad fortune but she isn't. She could reject people and especially new people but she isn't. She could set guidelines on conversation but she isn't. She participates in life as fully as possible and lives each moment with interest in life and those around her.
A pastor I studied under for many years, Col. R.B. Thieme, Jr., said often that you can tell a lot about a person's integrity by the way they keep their home and other possessions. If they take care of what they have, they have integrity. Nancy has integrity.
He also said a lot of things about having capacity for life. Since Nancy is living life as normally as possible through her battle with cancer, she is demonstrating a capacity for life.
She knows the end is near but that does not stop her. She is not mired in self-pity, depression, narcissism, etc. She is facing death and lives her life with as much zest as her weakened and frail body can.
Many of us could learn lessons from such brave and courageous souls about integrity and capacity for life. It would help us face life and our own death, however near or far, better. It would make each day sweeter to the very end.
I have spent years in the bowels of manufacturing plants helping to bring numerous products to market that touch virtually every aspect of life.
|Pamela Quillin, P.E.||