The Antidote for Hypocrisy
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." - Colossians 3:13-14 NIV Today's passage brings to mind and ever so common criticism of the church; that it's full of hypocrites. The term hypocrite came to mean one who acted or pretended or who was insincere. And without a doubt, there's truth at times to this critique. One way that comes to mind is thinking that once we become Christians we no longer struggle to put earthly behaviors behind us. That is to say, once we accept Jesus as Lord we act as though we don't or can't continue to make mistakes. The truth is, although we don't have permission to continue in sin we still have the ability and at times do. In our passage, Paul teaches the Colossians that if they have grievances, implying that they still do or at least can have, then they should forgive. After all, God forgave them. But also implicit is the idea that we can still grieve one another. That is to say that we can wrong one another. Therefore, Paul challenges us to walk in love which is the antidote to hypocrisy. Love repents when it has wronged another, and love also keeps no record of wrong when repentance is shown. It's undeniable that we can still hurt one another and be hurt. But as Christians, we are to love beyond that. The only way the label hypocrite can stick is if we refuse to walk in godly love. And if we do walk in Love, no matter how many times we're accused of hypocrisy, we can have confidence that the accusations are completely unfounded! Questions to Consider: Are there times when you've been grieved by other Christians; have you forgiven them? Are there times when you've grieved other Christians; have you repented?