Yesterday a friend of mine made a comment concerning Christians who talk the talk but just can't seem to walk the walk. She made a general statement of how some Christians are so hypocritical. Several of her friends commented on her post saying they agreed with her. One even went as far as saying that was the main reason they didn't attend church and that all Christians were the same in this regard.
It really bothered me. I can proudly say I am a Christian and their comments felt so personal. In just a few sentences they summed up my character just because I profess to be a follower of Christ. I don't even know these people, but they automatically think they understand me. Because I am a Christian, I must also be hypocritical.
I completely admit that I have my flaws, but who doesn't? When I was saved and became a Christian, all of my downfalls as a person didn't disappear. The Lord graciously forgave me for my sins and put the desire in my heart to become more like Him. And that's the thing: God is so ultimately perfect! I can try my whole life to be more like Him, but I will always fall short. I am human and so very far from perfect! I can always choose to be a much better person than I was and the Lord will guide me through it. That certainly doesn't mean that I won't mess it up from time to time.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
Before I completely gave my life to the Lord, I noticed that I found many excuses to avoid Him. I even used the "Christians are sooo hypocritical" thing too. I allowed a couple of people to influence my opinion of church goers completely. What I didn't stop to think about was that they may not be very far along in their walk with the Lord. Really, who was I to judge? What made me think I was any better by doing so? Maybe they had some flaws that were different than my own, but none of us are perfect! Want to know the best thing about not being perfect? I get to see God's grace and mercy in my life! He forgives me when I mess everything up. I have a peace and joy in my heart that nonbelievers don't comprehend. They may not like me for who I am in life, but the Lord calls me His very own! Praise the Lord for that!
When I visited our church, I was immediately greeted by caring people. At first I thought it was just because we were new. I thought it would fade. I'm so grateful I was one hundred percent wrong! When I actually got involved and developed relationships with people, I found out they were pretty awesome. Looking back now, I think my assumptions that many were hypocrites can be explained. First, everyone has bad days from time to time. Don't automatically write a person off if you encounter them on one of those days. Remember we're all human and can get bogged down from time to time! Second, even Christians can be shy! What can seem like snobby behavior can easily be explained at times. I totally admit I do this. I don't mean to come across snotty or have a "holier than thou" attitude. I am really a shy person when I speak face to face with someone. Sure I can write a blog all day long if I wanted, but I have time to process and edit my words! I am working on the shyness thing and hope no one I come in contact with could misunderstand it as snob behavior. Third, if you're really having a difficult time with a certain person (in general), just try communicating with them. I've learned recently that a simple lack of communication can cause hurt feelings and a lot of misunderstanding between two people. Most of the time, it's so very unnecessary!
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Christian friends, please be mindful of the way you interact with those around you. People are watching and they hold us to a much higher standard in life. Let the peace and joy in your heart shine to all of those around....you never know who it will touch!
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."