One common Christian question I get is why are so many Christians hypocrites? We talk about being saved and the love of Jesus, but too often we fail significantly to show love to others, especially to those who do not share our faith as we see it. Christian hypocrisy is a failure of human nature, and it is something we have to fight against it every single day, whether we are the ones being hypocritical or not.
Don't Be a Hypocrite: Live as You Preach
One of the biggest criticisms of Christians is that we don't live as we preach. Think about it. When your parents ask you to do something they won't do themselves, how does it make you feel? Well, when we talk about living a certain way, but we don't live our lives how we talk, it gives people a bad impression of us as Christians. We have to prepare ourselves to live the Christian life we talk about. Otherwise, we become the Christian hypocrites people think we are. We can cite example over example of Christian leaders that have preached one thing from the pulpit and done another thing behind closed doors. It's not just our public view that matters. It's even what we do in private where no one but God can see us. Eventually our hypocrisy will come to light, and that hypocrisy will do more to damage others' view of our faith than anything else.
Don't Be a Hypocrite: Apologize for Mistakes
As human beings we are flawed. We know that we are flawed, because Jesus came to die for our sins. We also know that God forgives us if we ask. However, other people are not necessarily God. Our mistakes can be magnified in their eyes if we don't learn to apologize and explain that we are as flawed as others. If we make a mistake in our Christian walk, we need to own up to it - not just to God, but to those around us. Otherwise, we look like Christian hypocrites that think our mistakes aren't as severe as others around us.
Don't Be a Hypocrite: Don't Force the Issue
There are some people that will never believe that Christians are anything but hypocrites. We can try and try to get them to understand that we are living as best we can, and that we make mistakes and misjudgments sometimes. However, sometimes there just isn't anything we are going to be able to do to soften a truly hardened heart. In those circumstances, don't force the issue. It just comes across as Christian hypocrisy. Remember to keep those people in your prayers and love them even if they judge you.
Don't Be a Hypocrite: Show Your Individualism
One area that comes under great criticism in the Christian life is a lack of individualism. It often gets filed under Christian hypocrisy, because we tell people that God loves us just as we are, but people think we fall in line like lemmings. It is important that we show that we are each individuals with a unique relationship with God. We each have a unique purpose and a unique view of our faith. Being Christian doesn't mean losing a sense of our individual self, but embracing how God views us as an individual.
Don't Be a Hypocrite: Hypocrisy is not Just a Christian Issue
Finally, we also need to understand that Christian hypocrites are no different than any other hypocrite in the world. Christians are human. We are flawed, just like everyone else. Christian hypocrisy only exists if we claim to be more perfect than the person next to us. It does actually exist, so don't spend time trying to deny that there aren't Christian hypocrites. Instead, we can see hypocrisy everywhere, Christian or not, so we must try to be better than that. We have to be conscious of our choices and our words. Our actions need to be inclusive to others. We need to show love, not judgement. We need to live as best we can. Yet we should never think that we are never hypocritical, nor should we think that Christians are the only hypocrites in the world.