Hypocrisy

Monday, July 13, 2015

Statue - man with scrollProfessing beliefs, feelings, or virtues one does not really hold, possess, or practice

I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.  Abraham Lincoln

I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said. William F. Buckley Jr.

He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.  Sigmund Freud

Chances are we have said: “That person is nothing but a hypocrite”. Being labeled a hypocrite is very undesirable. People do not like hypocrisy. We are very sensitive to indications of hypocrisy coming from others.

We are adept at spotting it in all kinds of circumstances. Politicians are labeled as hypocrites; people often say that they do not go to church because those that do are “hypocrites”. We spot it in friends and relatives. Guess what! Just as easily as we spot hypocrisy in others; those around us see it in us just as well. We should be aware of all our words and deeds. Others are aware of whether or not we practice what we say or do. Depending upon what is involved, being labeled as a hypocrite can result in seriously damaging our relationships with others. Anytime we say one thing and do or act in an entirely opposite fashion, it raises red flag, activates sirens and horns, and is very much noticed by those around us, especially our loved ones and friends.

If we are giving advice to someone to act or behave in a certain fashion, while we do not “practice what we preach”; our hypocrisy is obvious to those who know us. “Do not do as I do, but do as I say do”, can help in qualifying such advice. It at least acknowledges we are aware of our own weaknesses. If we want to be taken seriously by others and if we want to have the best and closest relationships with others; it is very important that we avoid being a hypocrite. In addition, be a hypocrite is not good for our soul and our growth. We should be careful to not come across as thinking we are superior or better than someone else. We should never be condescending. Doing such things, only broadcasts all our warts, blemishes, weaknesses and issues that much more. It is very difficult to offer advice to others without opening ourselves up to their close inspection of us.

Judging, criticizing, meddling, snooping, opinionating, all such things tend to cause others to question our motives in what we have to say and why we are saying it. If our motives are not good, others will tend to see right through us. And old adage says that if you do not have something good to say, say nothing at all.

Challenge: Think of situations where you were given hypocritical advice. Chances are this advice did not have much credibility with you. Think of situations where you were giving hypocritical advice to others. Imagine how you were perceived. Be careful of your labeling, opinions, comments, criticisms and advice. Do not come across as someone who condemns issues in others, yet is guilty themselves. If nothing else, always qualify what you say by acknowledging the actions or weakness within yourself as well. Always have a good and proper reason.

Wisdom: The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy. William Hazlitt

Spiritual: (NIV)

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:7

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9

We should avoid judging others. The Bible is very emphatic about this. It is full of warnings as to the consequences. As humans we have a hard time not giving in to judging others. Being hypocritical can be considered a form of judging. Things said or not done in a spirit of love have probably crossed the line of being judgmental. The Bible tells us we will be judged in an equal manner to the way we judge others.

Prayer:  Help me to avoid judging or finding fault in others, but help me to see and work on my own faults.

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