Humans love to pick out the inconsistencies between people’s words and actions. So many of us, inside and outside the church, look at Christians and think, “What a bunch of hypocrites. Where is Jesus’ love?” The sentiment is coming from a real place, because it is impossible to be a Christian and not be a hypocrite.
Looking for the blameless is one of the biggest misconceptions about Christianity. Following Jesus is not about being perfect, it is about admitting we are flawed and need a savior (Galatians 2:21). I would argue that all Christians can be slated as hypocrites at one point or another. We preach loving our neighbors as ourselves and then fail to love the people in our very own homes, our coworkers, and our friends, let alone our enemies.
People Will Always Fail You
If you rely entirely on the actions and words of people for a reason to follow God, you will be disappointed. People will always fail you.
Do not get me wrong, as followers of Jesus it is immensely important to be inside this community of imperfect believers, because alone it is so easy to doubt God. Through community we can support each other, answer questions, and try to live out the best human form of love we can (Hebrews 10:24-25). The Christian community is full of sinful people that will disappoint you at some time or another, but they are still family.
God Will Never Fail You
My mother once told me that being in a church does not make you anymore a Christian than being in a garage makes you a car. Being a Christian is not about where you are physically, the people you surround yourself with relationally, or the good things you do. It is all about God. And until we realize that, the church will fail us. God will never fail you. Even when you feel like He has failed you, He is using your circumstances to grow you, help others, and deepen His relationship with you.
There is nothing that you can do to make God love you anymore or any less. God has already maxed out His love for you and nothing you can do will change that. Through this love, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross, so we can be free from the penalty of death for those that choose to follow Him (Romans 5:8).
God Helps Us Eliminate Hypocrisy
Although Christians (or should I just say humans?) always fall short, God calls us to choose a better path. The truth is we all struggle with different things for different reasons. God knows we struggle and He knows we are not perfect, but He does expect us to grow.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
God’s solution to hypocrisy is not to be perfect*. God’s solution is not to go around affirming everyone’s actions either. God instead calls us to end hypocrisy by reflecting on and removing our own shortcomings before we point out the shortcomings of others. He tells us to take on the difficult task of wrestling with the bad in ourselves, so we can humble ourselves before others and recognize that love can cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
*At the same time, God does speak on living with integrity in our words and actions, so God can use us as an arrow to the gospel. This concept could be a whole separate blog, so if you would like to begin exploring you can read Philippians 2:14-15, 2 Timothy 2:21, and Titus 2:7-8.