I used to balk when a certain close friend of mine described Christians with those terms. The believers that I knew had for the most part been very authentic and forthright. I assumed that his perspective was different than mine because his faith and lifestyle were different than mine. To me, hypocritical Christians were like the Pharisees and Sadducees- extreme in their self-righteousness and distant from most “authentic” people.
Then I went off to a Christian college, cloistering myself in what is referred to as “The Bubble.” Initially, I found the environment and the preponderance of fellow believers to be comforting, but by my third year in The Bubble, a strange and disconcerting stench began to make itself known to me. It was the stench of hypocrisy. The putrid smell made itself known gradually, and as it grew, so too did my disillusionment with the “Christian” community. The loss of naiveté is never pleasant, but neither is it anticipated. It was not the entire population of The Bubble from which the smell of hypocrisy emanated, but a sprinkling, here and there, some more strongly scented than others. But no matter whom or how severe, the smell was undeniably that of a self-righteous attitude.
Know that I am not casting stones here- God knows I have more ugly qualities and wretched moments in my life than I would care to remember- but rather sharing a page from my own journey. As uncomfortable as this lesson has been, it is valuable. It has taught me discernment. It has taught me of characteristics I want to avoid. It has taught me patience. It has taught me to value authenticity, to practice it and seek it out and cherish it when it is found. It has taught me of myself, opening my eyes to my own hypocrisies and other shortcomings, that I may work in His strength to remedy them. It has taught me more about Christ, because it has shown me that which is opposite Him.
They seep negativity, He radiates joy.
Their words breed gossip, His Word breeds life.
They call me “slut,” He calls me “daughter.”
It has taught me that I need to be more like Him.