Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do As I Say...

Have you ever heard the following phrases?

"Do as I say, not as I do."

"Practice what you preach."

What do those phrases make you think of?  One of the things that the church is accused of is that it is full of hypocrites.  Since the church is full of humans at varying places in their walk with Christ, on the surface that accusation is correct.  We all sin; we all make mistakes.  We have said one thing and at a moment of weakness did the opposite.  We all know what is the right thing to do and have found ourselves overcome in the moment with temptation and followed what our human nature wants rather than what God wants.  That doesn't make it okay, but it does mean that on the surface the church looks full of hypocrites.  In the church, the word hypocrite has almost become synonymous with the word Pharisee.  But, let's look at what Jesus was pointing out when He called the Pharisees hypocrites.  Please use this link and read Matthew 23:1-12.

Jesus pointed out that the Pharisees taught the law and it was important to follow the law; however, He warned against doing what they did.  You see, they demanded that everyone follow the law but didn't require the same from themselves.  That was the issue that Jesus was warning us about.  I want to be careful and point out that He wasn't saying that it was okay to sin.  In fact, Jesus pointed out the importance of following the law.  But He was pointing out that it was important to take a good look at yourself and make sure that you are doing what pleases God.

So, is the church full of hypocrites?  If you mean that the church is full of humans who want to please God but get caught in a weak moment and sin, then yes - the church is completely full of hypocrites.  Looking at the fact that Jesus was concerned that there were people who consistently did the opposite from what they preached kind of changes our perspective on the word, hypocrite.  The reality is, if we truly are hanging on to Jesus' commands we'll also remember that we need to leave the judging to God and not to ourselves.  Only God can read the hearts of people.  We are told to worry about our own heart and behavior rather than someone else.  With that lens, it changes how we view the people in the church, doesn't it?

Where is your heart?  Are you asking God to help you each and every day to live a life that pleases Him?

This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.

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