Hypocrisy


A man and his lady friend were eating at a Chinese restaurant. When an elderly waiter set chopsticks at their places, the woman made a point of reaching into her purse and pulling out her own pair. "As an environmentalist," she declared, "I do not approve of destroying bamboo forests for throwaway utensils."

The waiter inspected her chopsticks. "Very beautiful," he said politely. "Hmmm. Ivory, Very nice chopsticks".

Reminds me of the time I was accosted, er . . approached by a Greenpeace activist protesting the cutting down of trees for industry. She asked me if I'd like to buy their magazine and was a little taken back when I asked her what the magazine was made from. "Paper", she replied with half a smile - "and where does paper come from? . . ." And another time while watching a news report of some students protesting the vileness of capitalism the camera panned down to show the Nike shoes on one of the protester's feet.

You see, the Church is not the sole domain of hypocrites after all - they're everywhere. What is a hypocrite? Literally, it's someone who professes one thing yet does the opposite.

The Apostle Paul struggled with hypocrisy as well and defined it as a particularly endemic human disposition when he said in Romans 7:21-25 . . .

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The term "Body Of Death" is of particular significance here because you see In Paul's time someone convicted of murder would have the corpse of his victim strapped to his own body. The murderer would have to lug this festering, rotting mass around with him wherever he went. As the corpse began to putrefy and decompose it would infect the body of the one who murdered it and eventually killed him - the punishment fit the crime. This is what Paul meant by Body of Death - it's an inference to our own fallen nature - one we ALL have. The good news is that Christ is able to cut those ropes binding us to our old nature and set us free.

So be careful next time you're tempted to point an accusing finger at someone else, consider where you came from and the load you once carried before mercy set YOU free.

 

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