Thursday, April 16, 2009

Confessions Of A Hypocrite

I was catching up with a person on FB that I haven't talked to in years, and a thought struck me.

I can talk about God now and not feel like a hypocrite.

In my old life, there would have always been something that I THOUGHT would keep me from God - some secret sin or, maybe (horrors), a not so secret one. Either my soul (mind, will, emotion) or the adversary would always insert the notion that I needed to clean myself up before I could approach Father.

All my life (literally), I was taught that God was always looking for me to stumble so He could smite me with some affliction or horrible malady. Oh, he loved me, but was looking sternly down after each mistake.

I not only lived in fear, but when I DID want to talk about God to someone or offer some spiritual insight, something within me would shout "hypocrite!" and I would feel dirty for even considering to speak spiritual words.

I went for years without praying, reading His Word, or even thinking about Him because of the "dirtiness" of my thought life.

Oh, I went through the motions at church, and maybe only my closest friends could see that I was struggling. But if the average person saw me, I am sure they would have judged me MR. Spirituality with my position and level of activity I had at church.

I think that is one of the easiest lies that we can believe - that is, the notion that we are hypocrites if we are not "clean" if we talk about God with another person. In other words, the lie is that we have to shine the light on every area of your life that we struggle with BEFORE we can counsel another person about spiritual matters.

Satan is called the accuser of the brethren and we take this ONLY to mean he accuses us before God. But I believe he also accuses US to OURSELVES. He whispers these lies into our minds.

It’s interesting to see how Jesus defines condemnation:
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Praise be to God that He has shown me the light in which we walk. [There is] therefore now NO (emphasis mine) condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

If HE doesn’t condemn us, who are WE to do otherwise?

5 comments:

Bino M. said...

Thanks John! I think I know what you are saying. I have had similar struggles, still have it at times...

Thank you for sharing...

Joel B. said...

Yeah, great stuff! I've felt the same things too over the years. Feeling like such a hypocrite for talking the talk but not walking the walk. But then kind of like you're saying here, the lights came on and I realized that it wasn't about God keeping close guard on my behavior, and I began to be able to breathe, and to stop the self-condemnation crapola. I realized that when I "mess up," I'm not a hypocrite, but rather a person who is on a life-long journey of discovering more and more of who Christ-in-me is. It's such freedom to break away from that old behavior-focused mentality!

John Fincher said...

Bino and Joel,

Thanks for the encouraging comments.

I think, for me, this is a journey that I want to push instead of just resting in Jesus "yoke".

I need to be constantly reminded that I cannot produce ANY fruit. It is produced for me.

Gary Kirkham said...

How freeing it is when God reveals to your heart that the life He offers isn't a guilt trip. It reminds me of something I read recently, "we aren't called to do witnessing, we are called to be witnesses." Unfortunately, the world has been witness to sour grumpy Christians who are undoubtedly driven by guilt and fear (I used to be one of them). After I came to understand Grace, I would be angered by the legalists because of their condemnation, but now I just feel sorrow because they are so resistant to the "rest of the Gospel."

I still struggle with guilt and feelings of hypocrisy, but God doesn't let me stay there long. He reminds me of the truth that those feelings don't come from Him. He's so good.

In Christ,
Gary

John Fincher said...

Gary,

It was the "sour" (me too) Christianity that made me ask, "Where is the LIFE that we are promised?"

I looked around and didn't see it in anyone I knew, so I had to go OUT to seek it.

Thanks for commenting. I enjoy your perspective.