Hypocrisy vs Immature Spirits
Hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing another, is one complaint I hear more than most about Christians.
In their brethrens defense, Christians often reply with a chuckle that is why they are in church, they need it!
Hypocrisy on any level shouldn’t be tolerated. Jesus didn’t tolerate it and neither should we among each other. (Matthew 23:28-29, Romans 12:9. James 3:17) Yet, I feel too often we overlook it. We will whisper behind Susie’s back about what she is doing and wonder how she can claim to be a “good Christian” . . . but to her face in private exhorting her in truth and love? We don’t see this accountability very often and possibly because of the fear of appearing self-righteous. It isn’t self-righteous it is love, and we should expect Susie to hold us accountable as well.
However, what I think happens more often than not is what non-believers are witnessing are immature spirits more so than hypocrisy. Immature spirits live mostly in their flesh lives and not of their spirits. And with the mistaken identity of “goodness” hanging over Christians’ heads when others see us not acting in the expected manner then we are called hypocrites. If we don’t claim to be good then we aren’t hypocrites. People misunderstand what authentic Christianity (not the copycat religion of Christianity of following rules, trying to be a good person, and following a strict code of behavior) means; we have to share with them the truth.
1. It is a huge fallacy that being a Christian means you are good. Conversely, it means you realize you aren’t good and never will be and therefore need the goodness of Christ so you can intimately abide in the presence of a Holy God.
2. Authentic Christianity entails becoming a new creation by having a new spirit born within and from that spirit true life blossoms. The new spirit is born small and needs proper nourishment to grow and mature. When the new spirit grows then it desires to do the will of God. It isn’t a forced obedience but a natural desire. However, because the new spirit co-exists with our old, we will never perfectly do the will of God that is faultless and good, but hopefully we become more inline with it.
3. Christianity isn’t a performance based religion of good works like every other religion. It is a union with God that is made possible when we become a living spirit as He is spirit. The world and religious Christianity imposes rules and behaviors on us, but true Christianity isn’t about rules but being connected to God, us in Him and Him in us. As a result, good things may come from us, but is has nothing to do with us. It is the fruit of God’s Spirit flowing through us because we are connected to Him.
4. This flowing fruit that comes as we surrender our will to His isn’t instant. It takes years of abiding in God’s truth, learning, growing. And even then our flesh is a strong contender to our spirits’ wills. In my experience to live as a new creation is a long process that I imagine will last a lifetime.
5. Authentic Christianity teaches people have no goodness of their own. No one is good but God. Matthew 19:17 The key to understanding this truth is how we define goodness and how God does is different. His goodness is defined by His omniscience, pure love and complete truth – three things no human has. Therefore only He is truly good. The rest of us have warped versions and ideas of goodness. Christians who praise, claim, or try to be good don’t get this truth. They have a copycat religion of because we can’t have our own goodness.
We, Christians, need to be comfortable with who we are and who we are not, and stop claiming, giving and accepting the praise from others that we are good. We all have a desire to be good that is why there are so many performance based religions but that desire is to draw us to God’s goodness not our own. We need to stop focusing on goodness like every other religion and put our energy into cultivating a relationship with God, what the gospel is all about.
Our response to the accusers shouldn’t be to excuse our brethren, but to say to you are right, hypocrisy is wrong and educate them on who we truly are – we aren’t about goodness we are about abiding in a relationship with God and if good flows from that then give credit where credit is due.
Psalm 71:16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.