The Problem with Christians
I will stretch out my hand against Judah . . . those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom . . . Zephaniah 1:4-5
In my addiction, I claimed to believe one thing, while behaving in a manner completely contrary to that belief. I would love to say that my hypocrisy ended when my sobriety began, but I still struggle with this. Though I don’t struggle today with pills, I still often act in a manner contrary to my faith.
I know I should reach out to a neighbor, but I’m selfish with my time. I know I should give money to help the needy, but I prefer to spend it on me. I know how I should act, but often, that’s not how I want to act. I claim to follow God, but still, I struggle with following me.
This is the hypocrisy that Zephaniah pointed out in today’s passage, chastising those who falsely claimed to follow God. Zephaniah’s audience considered themselves to be God’s people, but their daily lives exposed a gross hypocrisy. They swore belief in God, but they lived how they wanted.
This isn’t just a problem for the Israelites. This is our problem as Christians. We sit in church on Sunday morning, singing of our love for God, but our behavior the rest of the week exposes that we live for ourselves. This isn’t just about drugs. This is about how we expend our lives. Jesus said that to be his disciples, we must daily deny ourselves and follow him. If call ourselves Christians but we’re not doing that, we’re hypocrites.
The problem is that even though we’re new creatures in Christ, we’re still human. Yes, we have a new spiritual life, but we carry that gift in the old flesh life. So, as long as we’re on this earth, we’ll struggle with something. Thankfully, that’s why Christ came in the first place, to forgive us of our hypocrisy and failures. Yes, we’ll continue to struggle, but his grace and forgiveness are enough for all of our sins.
The problem with Christians is that we’re all still hypocrites in some way. The blessed truth about Christians, is that we’re still loved and forgiven by the father.