Something I find really interesting is the concept that Christians are hypocrites. Don’t get me wrong, so many of us can be. We’re imperfect, and just accepting Jesus doesn’t make us perfect, stellar human beings. We still have a sin nature. We’re still tempted, and we still fall into sin sometimes.
But I think I’m starting to figure out the difference between hypocritical Christians and authentic ones.
Let’s compare the two. Comparisons are helpful.
Hypocrites are motivated selfishly, to live a “Christian” life for what they can get out of it. However, authentic Christians embrace humility and selflessness.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Understanding the Gospel means that we understand our lowly state. That because we were sinners, Christ died for us. Not because we deserved it. Knowing that we don’t deserve anything brings us to a state of humility – and also of freedom. HE LOVES ME! I don’t have to prove anything! This is such a contrast from walking around on eggshells, trying to prove that you’re a good person. News flash: no matter how hard you “just try,” you won’t be able to measure up.
Hypocrites live to impress others. Authentics (I’m going to coin that word for the moment) seek approval from God. I don’t mean in earning salvation, but I mean in “living the Christian life.”
Person A: LOOK AT ME OVER HERE, SLAVING AWAY FOR JESUS, THIS IS REALLY HARD, ISN’T ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION TO ME?
Person B: I love Jesus and want to serve Him with my life – He saved it, after all.
I’m not saying we have to have to use Person B’s words, but without that heart attitude, we won’t grow in our faith. Church and Jesus and Bible all becomes like empty religion – meaningless obligation, filthy rags.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.”
Who are we trying to please? What are we living for? To please, or not to please — that is the question. (Hehe.)
And one more difference, before I close.
Hypocrites try to be perfect. Authentics know they are new in Christ, and do not have to put on a face of impeccability.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
As authentic Christians (meaning that we’re not trying to pretend to be someone that we’re not), we don’t need to “work hard” or “prove that we’re saved” or “pretend to be flawless” or anything like that. We are new creations. We are no longer under condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
When we experience God’s love and grace, it’s more natural to be authentic.
We don’t have to pretend to love God because we already do. We don’t have to pretend to be overwhelmed my grace because we already are. We don’t have to pretend to enjoy serving God because we already will.
Authenticity isn’t hard to come by. It’s true that no matter who we are, because we’re imperfect, we’ll all be accused of hypocrisy at some point. But that’s not our focus.
The focus here is to understand this amazing love, and not get caught up in dos and don’ts.
We don’t have to get caught up trying to live a perfect life, because we can’t.
We must get to the root – understanding grace, and hope, and truth, and love, and out of that will flow an authentic life.
Oh, I have news! If you hadn’t noticed it on the sidebar of my blog, I joined Twitter on Saturday. So, you can follow me and see my tweets at https://twitter.com/amanda_beguerie/ or just search my handle, @amanda_beguerie. All lowercase. So far, I’ve posted Bible verse graphics, and when I think of something profound to say…then I’ll be sure to tweet those too. My goodness, am I new at this.