How many times have you heard others say they don’t go to church because the church is full of hypocrites?
Just after he left suddenly, my husband angrily told me the church was full of hypocrites and that I was the biggest one; this hurt to the depths of my soul, in part because he was right, and I didn’t want to think that I was the one who made him turn away from his faith.
That scary thought hurt even more than his leaving!
In truth, I made a LOT of mistakes in our marriage – things I would do differently, things I learned from and had done differently over the years, but sometimes it’s not enough and there will always be things that I should have strove to do even better.
Even now, as I write about divorce recovery, I feel the traces of hypocrisy surround me from time to time.
It’s not that hard to sit here and write about what SHOULD be done in divorce recovery. It’s another thing to actually apply the Wisdom the Holy Spirit has blessed me with. For the most part, I am a very happy, loving person. I find Joy in every day things and my boys constantly keep me on my toes and give me reasons to laugh. It is impossible to stay miserable for long here.
But I do have darker moments, moments of sadness or fear or anxiety, moments when I long for a “normal” job or a more organized home or just a day to myself. I have moments when I miss the companionship and love of a man in my life, and, as much as I hate to admit this, I have moments when I yell at the kids or get angry or frustrated and want to just throw something (I want to – doesn’t mean I do it, but that I want to! ).
Those times may be few and far between, but they are there.
And they make me think my husband was right.
I am a hypocrite.
I say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength,” but here I am foolishly, selfishly, angrily promoting my own agenda.
I am a hypocrite.
Or maybe he was wrong.
Maybe I am not a hypocrite, but instead, just incredibly imperfect.
Maybe I am just human – and sometimes I say and do and think the wrong things, even bad things.
And I must ask forgiveness because, as a Child of God, I am still worth something.
But maybe, as a Child of God, my husband also has the right to choose to view me as a hypocrite
or as a fallen, imperfect Creature created by a Perfect God.
I can be momentarily saddened that he chooses to see me so negatively,
but I am not responsible for his views of me or of the world.
I am responsible for picking myself up when I fall and when I fail and for doing the best I can to reflect the church as Jesus intended it.
I am not a hypocrite, but I am imperfect.
So it becomes even more important for me to thank God for His perfection and for His loving me despite my failings.
If you are staying away from church because of the hypocrites there, ask yourself what makes one a hypocrite and if it is possible that these are just fallible human beings coming between you and fellowship in honor of the Lord. If you are in church, beware of your failings and work to do better. The Lord holds Believers to a higher standard. Be sure you failings are human failings and not hypocrisy. At the same time, don’t let others make you less than you are. You are imperfect and yet, you are Loved perfectly anyway.