I was talking with someone lately about Christian things, and nothing makes me feel more like a freaking hypocrite than giving godly advice, even if it’s good advice.
This sucks because a lot of the problems I’ve had in my recent Christian history is with hypocrites. I’ve let so many people come into my life through the church that said they were one thing, and were a completely different thing in reality. Jimmy Buffet says in one of his songs that “there’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning,” and he’s right. Sadly. Except it’s like, between any day of the week and Sunday morning. The last year has been no different. There were plenty of hypocritical responses to me in my pain and rebellion, but what’s been most difficult for me to process is the hypocrisy I’ve witnessed Christians inflict on each other from my vantage point on the fringe.
I have a lot of local readers, so I don’t want to be too specific about any one person or relationship, but I have a friend going through some shit right now, and you’d never have guessed that this would be her life. I know someone so spiritual and “godly,” still walking around, hands raised in the air to the Lord, while engaged in who-even-knows-what-kind-of-rebellion. A group of friends I had even embraced and supported someone just like me for a number of weeks, when I was cast out immediately (probably due to my decisiveness and – whether anyone wants to admit it or not – my honesty in the issue of leaving my marriage). I know church employees and worship leaders mistreating their wives, neglecting their children, engaging in all kinds of unsavory things that a lot of people just make excuses for – but MY sin warranted not only my being cast out of a group and a church, but also months of gossip, rumors, and slander. Got it.
And that’s just the people I know personally and am still in communication with in the last few weeks. It’s been really, so sad.
When I found myself giving advice, though, I owned that I was being hypocritical because the advice I was giving was not the advice that I took in my own life, I got an interesting response. He said, “just because you’re a hypocrite doesn’t mean you’re wrong.” At the time, I thought it was kind of funny. And it’s right.
But if it’s right for me, it’s right for them.
The group of friends that I had that shunned me, but accepted someone just like me a few months later, might’ve done that because of our shared experience.
Everyone that I know, whether they work for a church or not, not being who they should be, doesn’t mean only perfect people can serve the Lord, or that we’ve arrived once we join ministry or do church work.
The friend really going through it right now doesn’t negate God’s goodness.
The man praising Jesus and secretly being an unsavory character doesn’t change the fact that Jesus is worthy of praise.
Just because they’re hypocrites, doesn’t mean they’re wrong. And as simple as that sounds to say, as funny as the saying might be at first, that’s really blown my mind. As someone really struggling with how to come to terms with this problem, I feel like this is a good first step for me to accept.
Flawed people, myself included, don’t change God. The created don’t change the Creator. He is His own, even when He’s ours. And that’s…. really something.