Are you as confused as I am? Do you feel hypocritical at times? Guess what? You are not alone.
Many times, people can be easily confused and often times feel hypocritical because of what they state and how they act. A lot of times, I feel the same way. So how do we differentiate between the feelings of hypocrisy and the confusion our society feeds us?
First, I think we all know what confusion is. If not, let me confuse you a bit. When you are in a car and decide to go forward, you place the car into gear and then press the gas pedal. You immediately notice that the car isn’t going anywhere. You step out of the car, pop the hood and proceed to ensure that the electrical system and transmission are in order. You check for loose bolts, proper fluids and even talk to the car. You say, “Please go forward. I have an appointment.” The car continues not to move. Being that you believe in God, you pray, “Lord, please let my car drive. I need to get to my appointment.” You try it again. Nothing happens. Finally, you throw up your hands and say, “Why won’t my car go?!” Do you know what you forgot to do? Start the car!
We become so focused on our situations that we forget that the car has to be turned on first. The key has to be inserted, turned and gas has to enter the engine with all pistons running. There is no way around it. Our focus on our situation caused us to be confused about what was necessary to get the car moving.
Next, sometimes we feel like hypocrites. We do things we ought not to do, knowing that we are not to do them. Confused? Paul felt this same way. He said in one of his letters, “I do not do the things I ought to do and do the very thing that I don’t want to do.” This sounds like the ramblings of a confused person, but it is not. In fact, Paul was saying, “Hey, even I, a highly educated teacher, do things I shouldn’t.” Does that mean that Paul was a hypocrite? No.
A hypocrite is defined as a person who acts one way but believes another. The hypocrite goes out of their way to do the very thing they teach not to do. They also do it regularly without caring for others. If you ask a hypocrite what they care about, they may say, “People. Helping the poor and saving the whales.” However, their attitude and actions say, “Who? What poor and what’s a whale?” They purposely go out of their way to live differently than they teach.
I must admit, as I write this the feelings of hypocrisy come to the forefront of my mind. There are times, I write what I believe and then go out and do the very thing I speak against. It is in those moments that I am hypocritical. Does that mean I am a hypocrite? No. It means that I am human. My feelings of guilt overflow my heart and mind. The hypocrite does not have those feelings.
Remember what Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day? “You brood of vipers, you hypocrites!” Jesus was basically saying that they teach poisonous ideals and don’t even believe what they teach. I want to be very clear. I believe everything that I teach and desire (and try) to live according to Biblical standards. So the next question becomes, what does this have to do with morals?
If you do a study on morals, you will see something very interesting. Morals are defined as “to relate to principles of right and wrong in behavior.” Morals are the behaviors that you and I express regarding what is right and what is wrong. So are you confused yet?
In our society today, we are all taught that right and wrong are relevant. Since the 1960’s we have been taught that what you believe is okay and what I believe is okay. Is that really true? Ask yourself this question…”If I believe that stealing is wrong and you believe stealing is okay, then who is right?” This very simple question proves that right and wrong exist. It also proves that the difference between right and wrong is the same as night and day. Both right and wrong exist and are definitive in nature.
When it comes to morals, we are taught that any lifestyle that is beneficial to society and doesn’t hurt anyone is okay. Unfortunately, this cannot and is not true. As morals are the behaviors of what is right and wrong, then how we act is critical to show what we believe. So here is a quick, yet relevant example of what we are facing today.
The media today is filled with articles of homosexual marriage, PTA’s for gay and lesbian children and demonstrations pressurizing organizations to comply with the gay and lesbian beliefs. Our schools are teaching that it is an “alternative lifestyle” and doesn’t harm anyone. When someone disagrees with them, they are attacked verbally and sometimes physically. Athletes have lost sponsors, actors have been ridiculed and individuals have lost their jobs because they speak against the gay and lesbian lifestyle. So how do we rectify all of this? Confused yet?
Let me push the issue a bit further. Recently, the Miss Universe organization has allowed a naturally born man, who had a sex change to compete in the Miss Universe contest. Why? Because his passport says ‘female’ as gender. So if his birth certificate (which is the governmental authority) says he is male, but he lied and said he was female, then we should honor his “female-ness”? HA!
Morals are based on right and wrong, not good or bad feelings. Therefore, what is your standard of right and wrong? My standard is the Bible. The Bible says that lying, stealing, murdering, hypocrisy, pornography, extra-marital affairs, gossip and homosexuality are sins. It doesn’t say we are to be mean, hateful or angry at the people. It means that these actions are sinful.
So if your moral standards are different, ask yourself this. Are my beliefs based on feelings or facts? Do I believe this because it feels natural or because it’s true? When we base our beliefs on feelings or opinions, we no longer hold to a moral standard. When we base moral beliefs on factual evidence then we have a standard to live by.
Are you confused or feel hypocritical? Don’t. We are all flawed humans. That is why we need a perfect loving God who determines what moral standards to live by. Share your thought.
God Bless and encourage someone today.