I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians- Mahatma Gandhi
I was thinking about the dangerous truth in this quote, particularly as it relates to the ongoing struggle with hypocrisy in my life and the life of believers everywhere.
As strange as it may sound, it is the hypocrisy of Christians in the Bible that encourages me more than anything else. Moses’s doubt, Abraham and Isaac lying about their wives, David’s adultery, Jacob’s lies, Thomas’s doubt, Peter’s temper, the twistedness of the entire Corinthian church actually shout hope to me.
These stories remind me that God’s relentless grip on me, not my feeble grip on God, keeps me in his love. These stories remind me that if there is hope for prostitutes and crooks and audulterers and racists and elitists and murderers and terrible husbands and coveters, there is hope for someone like me.
You see, being a Christian gives me the freedom to be honest about my own sins, shortcomings ( that’s a long list) and inconsistencies. Because I have been forgiven of all of my past, present and future failures through the death and resurrection of Jesus, my fear of being found lacking by those around me is no longer a real threat, only a perceived one. The more that I remember and realize that because of Jesus my advocate I will never have to face the full wrath of God’s judgment, the more I can let my hypocrisy be brought into the light by God and others.
Then and only then, can I forsake my hypocrisy and see the peace, hope and purpose for the hypocrite in all of us.