Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?Proverbs 20:6
Do you ever say that you will do something, only to fail to carry through with it? The addict finds himself in this position frequently. His intentions may be good, but because he continually tells himself – and others – that he will change, but then fails to, he is a hypocrite.
I would love to say that my hypocrisy ended when my sobriety began, but my drug use was just a symptom of a greater disease. I often claim that I believe one thing yet live in a manner that is inconsistent with that belief. It’s not that I’m purposefully dishonest, I just sometimes allow my destructive appetites to rule.
I plan to eat healthy, but I eat junk food. I intend to love my neighbor, but I haven’t taken any time to get to know him. I say I follow God, yet I spend most of my life’s energies doing what I want. My deeds don’t match my words.
Today’s passage addresses this disconnect between our words and our actions. Most of us know this hypocrisy. As Christians, we claim to follow Christ, but how many of us truly live as he desires? Anyone who reads Jesus’ commands and feels completely comfortable with his own life, isn’t likely being very honest.
This hypocrisy can be profoundly discouraging. We may look at our lives and realize there is so much to change, that it seems impossible. This is where God’s love and grace must be appreciated. We will never be perfect in this life. We will remain in need of God while in this flesh and though we strive for holiness, not even Paul was made perfect. Paul did however, strive to be more like Christ every day.
Daily, it is not our job to be perfect. It is our job to work on what God puts in front of us today. What do you want me to work on today God? What must I change so that my actions match my words? Growth doesn’t happen all at once. This process takes a lifetime, but thankfully God doesn’t give up on us because of our hypocrisy.
Author’s Note and commercial: I’ve been thinking about today’s topic for a while, since I read my brother-in-law’s book Words and Deeds, a book about becoming a man of integrity. In the book, Charles uses his experience as a U.S. army chaplain to explore the necessity of having both right words and right actions. It’s a thought-provoking study that will challenge and inspire. You can find Words and Deeds on amazon: