Religion makes liars of us all.
When I was in college I often heard the indictment, “All Christians are hypocrites,” but at the time I was too naïve to understand the bitterness and anger at the heart of such a statement. As I’ve matured spiritually, I’ve come to recognize my own shortcomings and learned to admit that more often than not I fail to be the representative of God’s love that I want and claim to be. And while such a realization is frequently disheartening, it’s also helped me to better understand what Paul meant in 2 Corinthians 12:10 when he said, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
None of us is perfect in our beliefs or in our actions. We regularly listen to our own prejudices as the voice of God and twist bible passages to make them say what we want to hear. Our inconsistencies are on display for all the world to see, yet we often attempt to salvage our pride by pointing our fingers at the mistakes of others.
Yes, we are weak and wounded disciples, but we serve a God whose grace is powerful enough to overcome and overshadow all of our failings. Rather than continuing to lie to ourselves, then, perhaps we’d be better off owning who we really are. After all, what better witnesses to God’s love for us revealed in Jesus Christ- stubborn denial of our own humanity or humble acceptance of our reliance on God’s divine intervention?
We are hypocrites. Thanks be to God for loving, forgiving, and working through us anyway. Amen.