It shouldn’t come as a surprise how often in the Bible God decries hypocrisy. Jesus made a painful point of it over and over (Mt. 7:3-5). You know, that saying one thing and doing another annoyance. It’s easy to spot hypocrisy in others, but always quite evasive in our own lives. We can justify our hypocrisy right out of existence, and do so without even breathing hard.
This is a warning, and one I’m attempting to fold into my own life. If, and especially, you’re a Christian there must be a conscious fight to minimize hypocrisy in your life. Otherwise we live a lie. There must be a transformative congruence between what we say and what we do. Thankfully we’re not alone in this work as the Church’s recent celebration of Pentecost testifies, but it is work nonetheless.
As this topic relates to our current conflicts, it can be very easy to say the right things, post the right hashtags, align with all the right causes, post all the right memes, and even march in the right protests, and yet to not really love our neighbor. The command to love our neighbor is imperatival and specific. In other words it is a command with substance. It looks like something. It will cost us something. It looks and feels like love. To say or to post something that has no basis in real and demonstrated action is…well…it’s hypocritical.
God’s desire is for His people to be wholly holy. What I mean by this is that we live lives of declarative and demonstrative congruence. We not only talk the talk; we walk the walk. If we are going to talk about the evils of racism there must be some sort of demonstrable congruence to that declaration in our own lives. We must love our neighbor…and not by hashtag or meme post alone. Otherwise, we are hypocrites.
Christian, if you want to make a difference start with proximity. Love those that are not like you that are within proximity to you. You know, like a neighbor…a stranger. Every one of us has people around us that are different from us. Start there. And I dare you, don’t post a picture of what you’re doing on Facebook. No one else needs to know. Hypocrites do what they do for show and God detests it. God is pleased to see His people acting in love and mercy with great sacrifice, and with no thought for themselves.
This is how real change will take place.