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Monday, May 26, 2008

Hypocrisy has to go- from walk in the word

Hypocrisy Has to Go ---By Dr. JAmes MacDonald
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. . . . It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 3
I grew up in a good church with good people. But one issue I noticed even as a young person was a constant struggle with an outward focus. Folks were obsessive about appearances.As a kid, I remember the day I found out that a man in our church smoked cigarettes. I was shocked. To be clear, I think smoking is an unhealthy, addictive habit that I wouldn’t commend to anyone. If it’s something you have an addiction to, I hope the Lord sets you free. But somehow this external habit was blown way out of proportion and was thought to be the most awful thing a Christian could do. In our twisted little grid, you could only be a good Christian if you didn’t do “The Filthy Five” (smoking, drinking, dancing, gambling, and going to movies).Well, what about all the other things you’re not supposed to do? Or the things you’re supposed to do that you don’t do? Well, we don’t really talk about those. We just obsess about the ones people can see.The external was put under the microscope. The outward appearances were scrutinized. You couldn’t walk in the church foyer without everyone inspecting everyone else. And the truth of it is, nobody was pleasing anyone. It took me a long time to shake that mind-set in ministry.I cannot please everyone. You can’t either. The attempt on our part to keep trying leads first to a crease, then a crevice, then a canyon of distance between who we are and who we try to appear to be. Let’s be done right now with people-pleasing. It’s destructive to us and despised by God. I dream a better dream for us than allowing petty people, majoring on silly things about which the Bible does not even explicitly speak, to control our hearts and lives. Let’s not allow even our brothers and sisters in Christ who have strong opinions to pressure us into external conformity that doesn’t reflect our hearts and doesn’t please or satisfy God. No doubt about it, hypocrisy has to go.It would be hard to even frame language that could capture how much God hates hypocrisy. Most of the time we just don’t get it-God isn’t fooled by our cleverest act. How arrogant of us to think that God has forgotten what He told Samuel: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

3 comments:

Bev Brandon said...

Oh my goodness...I just went through the ceiling. Your music was turned up full volume on my computer and as the baby in the bunny blanket popped up, she scared the breath out of me...whew! I am laughing so hard I can't typitty type. Now, let me see if I can remember what I just read---it was really good too! I mean really good!

Here I am at 10:30pm on site meter---this is like sherlock holmes or something...here i am...I can't stop l a u g h i n g..........

Fran said...

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Thats it in a nutshell huh?

Thanks for sharing Jenny. I always love it when you share his stuff.

Hope you are doing well.
Much love,
Fran

Rachel said...

This has to be one of my favorite posts ever. Thanks so much for writing all of this. Your passionate heart is clearly seen. I agree with so much of what was spoken here!