Our home has a place for nearly everything, and I like it that way. Maybe I’m a little anal, or maybe my wife just trained me well. Whatever it is, I enjoy the organization of it. And as I get older, it helps me remember where stuff is. I like that the shoes go in front of the closet, and I like that the wallets go in the basket under the hooks for car keys. I like that the coats go in the closet and I like that the hats and mittens are in baskets on the closet shelf. My 18 year old son Cam, on other hand, likes stuff spread all over the house. I find his shoes in my way when I walk in the door, and not where they are supposed to be. His keys are on the dining room table or on the kitchen counter – not hanging on the designated hook. And he can never find where he puts his wallet. He’s like a tornado – we always know where he’s been and what he’s been doing because he never puts anything away. It drives me crazy, and I about blow a gasket every time he can’t find something or I find things not in their proper place.
So a few weeks ago, as I’m getting ready to leave for an appointment, I can’t find my keys. Ugh… I look everywhere, but to no avail. I finally break down and ask my family for help so I won’t be late. Cam follows up with “Well, if you put them on the hook where they belong, you’d know right where they are!” He laughed, my wife laughed and I hesitantly chuckled. My own words turned back on me. He was right. It may have been small to me, but it stood out to him – I was being hypocritical. How can I say one thing and yet do another? Ouch! It made me stop and think – how many times have I been hypocritical to my children? As parents, I think we may do this far too often. Our children learn a lot more by what we do than by what we say.
Hypocrisy was a big issue that the early church had to deal with. In the book of Matthew, Jesus calls the Pharisees, or religious leaders, hypocrites some 12 times. Hypocrisy can still be a big issue in some of our churches today. Let’s not be like the Pharisees. Let’s demonstrate the love, grace and mercy that Jesus Christ intended us to show to others.
Matthew 23:23 – What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
Matthew 23:25 – What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, forgive us for being hypocritical. Help us to be men and women of integrity. Help us to be more and more like you every day. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”