I read an interesting devotion in today's Our Daily Bread that completely turned my thinking around concerning Christian hypocrites. And although those who call us hypocrites when we act in an un-Christian fashion are right, their reasoning is totally wrong. To them, we "claim" to be Christians and live an un-Christian lifestyle. In reality, we ARE Christians, and we live as though we aren't!
It is not surprising that unbelievers would reject us as hypocrites, and therefore, not worth their time. They are under the assumption that a genuine Christian does not sin. My first response is to ask them if they had ever met a genuine Christian. If their assumption is correct, I certainly haven't. But, where did they get that idea in the first place? They got it from churches that teach it! Many churches and cults teach that holy living is what makes a person a Christian. In other words, a person is saved IF he lives a holy life. And, IF I ever meet a person that does that one hundred percent of the time, I will gladly acknowledge that he is a Christian. But since there are none, I will have to take a believer's testimony of his salvation as genuine.
The Bible teaches that as born-again believers, we have been adopted as children of Almighty God (Rom. 8:15; Eph. 1:5). It also teaches that God's children still sin (Rom. 7:15-25; 1 Cor. 11:27-32; Heb. 12:3-8; 1 Jn. 1:8-10). In this life, a Christian is to continue to be conformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). We are to no longer be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by having our minds renewed (Rom 12:2). We are to allow the Holy Spirit, Who is the mind of Christ, to guide us in our daily walk (Jn. 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:12-16; Gal. 5:16, 25).
The problem with Christians is, we do not live as though we believe the promises of God. We are focused upon what our senses tell us, instead of what God's Word says about us (1 Cor. 2:12). We are the Sons of God (1 Jn. 3:2)! We cannot be separated from Him (Rom. 8:35-39). He will not leave us (Heb. 13:5). We have been given the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23). We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 8:37). He will provide for our every need (Matt. 7:7-11; Phil. 4:11-12). I can do whatever He calls on me to do, because He provides me with the ability (Phil. 4:13).
Yes, those who call us hypocrites are right. When we worry, when we are fearful, when we are silent in the face of evil, when we fail to tell others about Christ, when we fail to live a victorious Christian life, we are hypocrites! We are not hypocrites when we trust God. We are not hypocrites when we have courage,. We are not hypocrites when we act as "salt" and as "light." Those are things Christians do! There used to be a saying that was popular "back in the day," that said, "God said it. I believe it, and that settles it." I believe Him.