Hi, I’m Carey.  And I’m a hypocrite.

My words don’t match my action.  My intentions don’t get played out.  I think I’m more virtuous than I am.  And I’m not sure I represent Jesus or the Christian faith well.  Put Jesus beside me, and me beside Him, and see how similar they are.  I shudder to think.

Specifically, I snap at the people I love most – despite my desire not to.  I obey rules selectively, even though I believe as Christians we need to obey the law of the land (I am the king of rolling stops and drive as though the speed limit is 20 km/h higher than it is).  I carry way too many judgmental thoughts. I am desperately selfish, although I understand life comes to us when we give it away.  Has God done merciful things in my life?  No question. Have I been changed?  Absolutely.  But I’m still a hypocrite.

Tomorrow morning, I have a breakfast meeting with some Connexus people to finalize plans for our January 08 series "H-Bomb: Killing the Hypocrite Inside".  I’ve been planning this series for months, and come at it not as one who has mastered hypocrisy, but as one still struggling in recovery. 

I’d love hear from you this week as we head into that meeting and I finish work on the series next week.  Do you struggle in this area?  What are your issues?  You can change your user-id if you want to and post anonymously.  That’s up to you.  But I’d love to hear about your real life struggles.  H-Bomb will try to get to the root of the rot and we’ll spend a few weeks reconstructing our lives in Jesus. 

Hypocrisy is pretty much the #1 things non-Christians can’t stand about Christians. But I am convinced it’s not a Christian problem — it’s a human problem.  How many of your friends co-workers struggle with the "This is what I want and this is what I know is right,  but this is what I do" deal?

So…fire away.  I’m all ears.  And I think you’ll find I have some sympathy.  We’ve all got the disease.

11 Comments

  1. Jessie on December 24, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    We are all hypocrites.. I am the biggest hypocrite when I am in a group of Christians. The things that I say and the things that I view do not exactly represent Christ. People would not exactly be able to tell that I am a Christian.. and isn't that the point?
    Things get taken to far and I am not willing to stop it. I think that is because I am scared too.. scared that I am going to be made fun of in my group of CHRISTIAN friends.
    Shouldnt the way we talk.. and things we view and the comments we make to other not be different, they should but sadly they are not.

    Well I am really excited for this series. I think I am going to learn alot!

  2. Bill Laxton on December 20, 2007 at 2:06 am

    I've been called a perfectionist by many people in my life. I've been told that I can expect too much of others. The few who have managed to get close to me have said that I am very hard on my self and just as hard, if not harder on them and on others. For a long time, I didn't get what they were saying. Then my life unravelled.

    After years of recovering from the mess I had made, I still didn't quite get it…until a recent set of crises revealed how much I still took for granted. And how hypocritical I could be.

    Family, finances, faith…you name it, I took it all for granted and could be very judgemental of others,(especially those closest to me), yet I could reason away my own short comings almost without thinking.

    I decided to change this, and as I looked at God's word, I came across 1John4:17, which says: "…as He is, so are we in this world." We are all connected to Jesus…not just me, but we – all of us. And each time I remember this verse, I realize that His mercy and grace will only stay with me as long as I give it away to others.

    The incredibly cool thing about all of this is that as I continue applying this to my life, I find that I am receiving mercy and grace just when I need it most in all aspects of my life.

    Better than that, I am starting to see a kindness developing around me in every area of my life that I never saw before. It seems that people like being treated with mercy and grace. And in most cases, they return it back in kind.

    What I think I have learned here is, that when I make more room for Jesus to work in my life, and share with everyone else what He shares with me, that very same gift comes back from Him multiplied.

    I have never experienced this much love in my life before! I want to keep giving it away.

  3. Carey Nieuwhof on December 19, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I admire anyone who can do what God wants them to do every time. Sound like some of you can. Maybe I could. But it's way more of a struggle day to day than a lot of us let on, at least for me.

    Help me out here with some more posts…what specific things do you struggle with? Can you give examples (temper, alcohol…words…?). Be as specific as you are comfortable being, but I want to hear some stories or struggles as we get ready for H-Bomb in January as you are comfortable sharing them.

    JP: there is a way through it, and we'll outline what the Bible says about that in the series. It's not easy, but I'll share a lot of my personal story and try to be honest about my struggles. If you don't live near us, you can download the podcast or video weekly on the Connexus site.

    Carey

  4. JP on December 19, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Hypocrite?
    Excuse me while I push to the front of the line. It's not just a problem it's a disease. Left to fester only to grow worse until your caught in the middle of something you swore you would never, ever in your entire life do again. But there I am in the middle of it all again and again and again and…….. If there's way out let me know what it is Carey. I need it bad…

  5. Sarah Flemming on December 19, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    I'm a hypocrite too.
    I find I am a hypocrite because of all the double standards in my life. Sometimes it is unacceptable for someone else to behave a certain way, but I have my excuses. Or it's funny when so-and-so does this, but when someone else does it, it is offensive. I can be a certain way with one group of people but would never act that way with another group of people. I am plagued with double standards…

    How do I proactively change that?

  6. laurie on December 19, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    The hypocrit most people refer to is the " holier than thou" one. Humility is the antedote for that. Sometimes I realize I've thought that way and then I think how God loves every single one of us in our unfinished, bruised and battered selves. All are precious in his sight. Isn't that why so many were drawn to Jesus? The woman at the well, the lepers, the outcasts. Who am I that I should boast??

  7. Ray Berzins on December 19, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    I don't know of a single Christian who doesn't admit to being a sinner. Yes, the apostle Peter denied Jesus three times. Being less than perfect is what us sinners are made of. To sin is part of human life. But rather than accepting this, Christians turn to God to ask His forgiveness of sin. There is no hypocrisy in this.

  8. Glen Ruby on December 19, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Hypocrite. Why do I like saying that word so much? I know why. Simple. I am one but I do not wish to be one. “Change”. The most amazing gift God has given to me. “Change”.
    I want to stand on the roof tops and shout it. “Change”. You can change to. Think about it. The message filled with hope is all about change.

    One day I smoked dope the next day I changed.
    One day I slept with prostitutes the next day I changed.
    One day I swore at my children the next day I changed.
    One day I lied to get my job the next day I changed.
    One day I thought evil thoughts the next day I changed.
    One day I was a rebel the next day I changed.
    One day I was alone the next day I changed and received Jesus as my Lord.

    It is so amazing to believe in the power of the Truth to change your life. Where does this truth come from? Is it in the hearts of all humanity? Yes! And that is the good news! Life is in all of us today and we can change today if we choose to follow the voice of truth that lives in our hearts. What is amazing is this truth of right living is written on everyone’s heart. How do we learn to listen to our hearts?

    “Love, all you need is love”

    Thank you John and Paul you said it all. No wonder the Beatles are so popular. It gives one a whole new meaning to the LOVE BUG. I need more of that juice. Seared into everyone’s conscience is the truth.

    Now that is what I call a Can Do attitude and believe me there will be no bombs going off around us if we put that into practice. So today I may be a hypocrite too but I know that where there is eternal life there is no hypocrisy and I seek this life more each day. Hypocrite yes! But “Change” may be just around the corner.

    Glen Ruby

  9. anon on December 19, 2007 at 11:54 am

    I have made enormous strides to try to live a Christian life. People who knew me ten years ago would not even believe that I'm now a Christian. But to see me today and the changes I have made in my life and thought processes, it's evident that Christ has made a big difference in who I am, how I live and how I treat others. I'm not a perfect person and I know I still have a long way to go. I still hold on to some of my old sinful ways (ie. drinking & partying with my non-Christian friends)…it's always great fun at the time but I awake the next morning feeling guilty and angry with myself for letting it happen again.
    This past summer we had friends up to the cottage for a party weekend. One close friend, with whom I've had many conversations about God/Christianity, yelled across the fire "I thought you were a good little Christian girl…what are you doing?" Obviously, I really didn't know what to say, I was pretty much just ashamed of myself as I stood there, beer in hand. I finally told him the truth, that "being Christian has been a long tough road for me and I'm still working on it." I then went into a bit of a rant and said "I love God and want to do my best to represent but I'm still only human. Just because I'm a Christian doesn't mean I'm perfect or think I'm better than you or that I'm protected from temptation. Because of the Bible, I know what's right in my heart but even that's not enough to keep me on the right path. I pray every day that I'll have the strength to be the 'Christian one' but I just don't know how to be that person yet. It's tough." My friend thanked me for being honest about it. He said he thought I'd try to defend myself and tell him that God will forgive me because I'm a Christian or something. Then he gave me a hug, took my beer, grabbed me a can of Coke and said maybe this will help.
    I'm not sure that can of Coke helped me in long run but at least for that weekend my friends left thinking not that I'm a hypocrit but that I'm just the same old girl I always was now struggling to be a Christian. I just wish people could understand that calling ourselves Christians doesn't mean we think we're perfect and always make the right choices…it means that we know we're sinners and we know we need God. It's so opposite of what people think of us! I guess that's why they call us hypocrits…because they don't understand the real reasons why we come to Christ in the first place.
    I wish I could say that my partying days are over but it's still something I struggle with, although not very often now…it's definately getting better. In certain company and situations though, I still find the temptation to drink is just too difficult to overcome. I'm praying though that as I share not only my faith but also my journey with more and more of my non-Christian friends, that they won't see a hypocrit but just a human trying hard to change their ways.

  10. Brian Mullins on December 19, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Well… I think you've discovered the first way to bust up the hypocrisy problem: transparency. This is covered really well in Kinnamon's new book "Unchristian" and would be a good resource for your series.

  11. Allen Forget on December 19, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Carey
    A quick note this morning, as I have to get to Barrie today to work.
    The issue of hypocrisy is one of my favorite struggles of MY human condition. If you asked me what I thought people outside of the Christian faith think of us Christians I too would have said that this is number one. Ironically in the study conducted by The Ferma Group and written about in “Unchristian” they indicate that “antihomosexual” and “too judgmental” were slighter higher in the polls. GREAT NEWS EH! We are really not as hypocritical as we thought! OUCH! I cannot emphasis how much impact on me that this book has had.
    As I read your post this morning I just thought that it really spelled out exactly how we need to view OURSELVES if we are even going to come close to getting this thing called hypocrisy under even a little bit of control. Really you wrote your post with HUMILITY and an understanding that we are all SINNERS and we are all WEAK and we are simply all HUMAN and we will all fail as humans. (Interesting that humility contains very similar spelling to human!) Maybe humility is suppose to be the great human condition? Imagine if humility was the issue here? Imagine what life would be like if everyone around us had too much humility? Weird! You know I think that people are afraid to be humble because it might show that we are weak and that we are not in control of ourselves. How many times have you heard someone say, “I have to get control of my life”? WHAT? What a burden that is! You can’t do that! Just as God has placed us here he can take us away just as easy. We are not in control!
    I for one will step up to the plate right behind you Carey and say that I too struggle with this condition. I too have to have a running checklist to help me when this ailment strikes me. I am not perfect and never will be. I have made my promise to God that I will try to be like Jesus but I never can be Him! Never! In my humility I can only do everything I can to be like Him and if He is my checklist then I know that I cannot fail. Will I concur this condition? NO, but I will acknowledge to anyone, in humility, that I am not in control.
    Peace

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