How many times have you heard others say they don’t go to church because the church is full of hypocrites?
After my husband left, I asked him about his faith, and he angrily told me he didn’t believe in God because 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. I did believe a lot of things that, even when I tried, didn’t always show in my actions, and I didn’t want to think my failures had 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 done 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 to actually apply the Wisdom the Holy Spirit has given me. 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 or just want to throw something (doesn’t mean I do it, but that I sometimes 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 also as a Child of God, my husband has the right to choose to view me as either a hypocrite
or as a fallen, imperfect Creature created by a Perfect God.
Maybe this is his sin that must be forgiven
just as I hope my sins are forgiven.
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 definitely imperfect.
and so it becomes even more important for me to thank God for His perfection and for His loving me despite my failings.
Something to think about: It has been said that if you find a perfect church, you should probably stay away because you will ruin its perfection. What do you think?
If you are staying away from church because of hypocrites, ask yourself what makes a hypocrite and if it is possible that you are letting fallible human beings come between you and fellowship in honor of the Lord.
If you are in church, beware of your failings and work to do better so others do not view you as a hypocrite. The Lord holds Believers to a higher standard.