Christians can definitely be hypocrites. Some of us are imperfect people who strive to be like Jesus, and some of us strive to appear like we’re flawless even though we’re not.
So often, I hear stories from people who were hurt by Christians, and their biggest issue with the church is that it’s filled with hypocrites. I wish I could tell these people that they’re wrong, that they’re misguided or that they just don’t understand, but they’re right. Christians can be hypocrites. According to the Bible, we’re all sinners…every one of us, but that’s only part of the story.
When I made the choice to walk away from God as a young adult, I did it because I was tired of seeing the worst in people firsthand. I was deeply hurt by people who claimed to follow Jesus, and I thought “Well if this is what church is, I don’t want to be a part of it.”
When I was finally old enough to decide for myself, I walked away from God because my heart was crushed by people who claimed to know God, and I spent the next several being angry with God for allowing those people to hurt me.
The next decade of my life was hard. I felt angry, lonely, judged, isolated, guilty, and condemned. I lived with anxiety, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I lived in fear that I’d never be good enough, that I’d never be loved, and that I’d never have peace.
Years later, when I decided to give God another chance, I started to see how much he loved imperfect people. Scriptures I’d memorized throughout my childhood started making sense. I started to understand that *God loved me even when I didn’t acknowledge him.
I also learned that this gracious God loves us even though we sin. He knew we’d be imperfect. He knew we’d talk a good game at times even while our hearts felt shattered. And not only did he love us anyway, but *he also made a plan for each of our lives that fill us with hope and a future. I always wanted to believe that was true, but I found it hard to look past the sinners to see God’s goodness.
Jesus is so cool. He didn’t wear an expensive, well-tailored suit to church every Sunday or use big words that people didn’t understand. He didn’t post things on social media to seem super holy, and he didn’t look down on people even when they were missing the point completely.
Instead, he loved people, even sinners. And he *explained it to the Pharisees (the super fancy, churchy people) wanted to know why Jesus spent time with the sinners.
He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” When I read that, it was as if a lightbulb went off in my mind. Churches are filled flawed people who need Jesus.
My life was a mess until I turned to Christ. I need him because, without him, my life is empty and meaningless. I’m still an imperfect human, but I’ve been *redeemed by Christ. I’m filled with joy and peace. God knows everything about me – even the deepest depths of my heart, and he chose me anyway. *He also chose you, and he loves you that much too.
Sometimes Christians are hypocritical, but sometimes we’re mischaracterized too. We seem hypocritical because we no longer do the things we once did. My habits changed significantly after I began acknowledging Christ as my Savior, and I haven’t stopped changing since. Behaviors that were common to me before are no longer a way of life for me. The things I do, the things I watch, the thoughts I allow to make room in my head are different now. It doesn’t mean I’m a hypocrite; it means I’m growing and evolving, and that’s a good thing!
If you’re reading this, you need to know that you’re not alone. God’s not mad at you. He’s not looking down on you waiting for a moment to strike you down. He loves you. He chose you. He’s all-powerful, and he wants to restore every part of your life that has been broken.
There will be imperfect, sinful people in the world until Christ returns, but when you put your focus on him, He will heal every part of your life. He will show you that you have power – through him – to crush the *enemy under your feet because the same power that raised Christ from the dead will live in you when you surrender your life to him.
The Bible says that *God loved the world in this way, He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less than he does right now. He wants you to trust him. He wants you to see *the way out that he’s provided for every part of your life – even the parts that seem hopeless and beyond repair.
Here’s the thing. There’s probably someone somewhere who owes you an apology for things they did to hurt you. Maybe they’ve never said it to you, maybe they never will so listen to me for a minute. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that someone hurt you. I am so sorry that someone used God’s Word to abuse you or manipulate you. I’m so sorry that you’ve carried that pain whether for a day or a lifetime. I am so sorry.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, I encourage you to get to know him. He won’t force you to choose him. Just read the Bible and ask him to reveal himself to you. He’ll do it. He’s just waiting for you to ask him.
* Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
* Romans 5:8 – But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
* Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
* Luke 5: 30-32 – But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied to them, “It’s not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
* Ephesians 1: 7-8 – In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.
* John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
* John 3:16-17 For God loved the world in this way. He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but the save the world through him.
* 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, bur with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it.