Hypocrisy has many beginnings. My shade of hypocrisy was religious hypocrisy. (I know. Not pretty.) It wasn’t an easy-to-see detour on life’s path. It was little wrong turns here and there that eventually led me far from God’s grace and ever closer to hypocrisy. My story started when I was young and in church—with a “good kid” reputation.
My first step toward hypocrisy was a lie I heard and believed. The lie that following Jesus meant I should have no problems, sins, or issues in life. This lie slowly grew into a wedge between the “good kid” and the “real kid.”
Hypocrisy forces us to take the wrong turn when there’s a fork in the road between how we look and who we really are. The more wrong turns I took, the more I strove to be the best at everything I did.
I had exchanged Jesus’ grace for self-perfection. Maybe you’ve experienced this—when everything needs to be perfect, so you start ignoring the real issues you’re struggling with. Anger? Pride? Self-hate? No grace for others? Or, maybe you’re addicted to people or things that temporarily cover up these issues.
No matter how it looks, the relentless drive toward achieving a perfect life is a turn away from Jesus’ grace. It’s a slippery road toward fake living that dead-ends in false satisfaction and zero intimacy with God.
So how did I undo my religious hypocrisy? I didn’t. Hypocrisy starts with a poorly informed checklist of what you have to do to be who you think you’re supposed to be. For instance, I wanted to be a child of God (good thought), and I thought I had to be perfect to do that (bad thought). Jesus is the only way to the Father, not perfection. When I accepted Jesus as God’s Son, God accepted me as His. I didn’t undo hypocrisy; Jesus did.
Who do you think you’re supposed to be? What do you think you have to do?