one of the top reasons people stop going to church is because they think Christians are hypocritical. Ouch, right? But let’s think about it. The definition of a hypocrite is someone who says one thing—but does another.”
Reflect for a moment on last week. Have you noticed any areas of your life where you say you follow Jesus, but your life tells a different story?
Maybe you went to church on Sunday but started gossiping on Monday. Maybe you say you pursue purity at youth group, but your browser history says a different story. Maybe you’re an honour-roll student, but you cheated on that last exam.
You are not alone. Everyone has hypocritical moments because we’re all imperfect people who make mistakes. And when we are faithful to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, Jesus offers us grace freely.
But living a hypocritical lifestyle? That’s a problem. Jesus had no patience for people who pretended to follow Him without actually doing what He said.
Back in Jesus’ day, there were a group of people called Pharisees. People hated them. Why? Because they knew a lot about God, but they didn’t really know God. They were experts at knowing exactly what God’s Law said, but they weren’t very loving. Jesus got pretty fired up about them.
In Matthew 23, Jesus called out the Pharisees as “blind guides.” He got angry with them because they were using God’s laws to make themselves look important—and to make other people feel shame. He said that they may know a lot, but no one should follow their example because they ignore the really important parts of following Jesus—like justice, mercy, and grace.
People don’t want to follow a hypocrite. But, on the flipside, people love following someone who does what they say they’ll do. Let’s not become a Pharisee—beating people down instead of lifting them up, showing off how “religious” we are to make ourselves look important, or leading people away from Jesus by saying one thing and doing another.
Instead, let’s share the love of Jesus by showing the love of Jesus. Because one of the best ways to share Jesus is to live like Him.
So, what does that mean for us? It means that we should ask God for forgiveness for times when we’ve said one thing and done another. It means we should make a conscious effort to avoid hypocrisy. And it means knowing—and doing—what Jesus has told us to do.
Let’s learn what it looks like to live and love like Jesus.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for times when I’ve said one thing and done another. Thank You for Your grace when I mess up and make mistakes. Help me correct any area of my life where I’m not following You. Help me become more like You and love others the way You love them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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