I can still taste the bar of soap my mother used to punish me with. I think it was St. Ives, or some other brand that was just tangy enough to scrub the bad words from my mouth. I always thought it was a strange method, and pretty ineffective in my case. Those words still pop out, probably more frequently than they should. I think it may have worked had they put some St. Ives on the end of a cue tip and deep cleaned my ears. I was only saying what I was hearing. How could they expect me not to say the words that frequented their vocabulary? It didn’t seem fair.
I have found that hypocrisy is a huge turn off to those outside the Church, and these people attribute hypocrisy to the Church as a whole. While it’s not the only turn off, it’s a big one. Our lives have to match our words.
I think I perfected the art of hypocrisy about the same time my mother warned me never to touch a cigarette, then sent me with an empty pack of Mistys to the corner store. She wanted me to show the clerk what type of cigarettes she wanted, then hand him a few dollars in exchange for a new pack. Something about this task felt weird, and I trashed the empty pack on my way out, came back with some candy, and told her that the clerk was really mean and wouldn’t sell me the cigarettes.
After learning, and perfecting the art of hypocrisy, it’s a challenge to learn and perfect it’s opposite, integrity. Who am I behind closed doors? Is that person different than who I become around others? In what ways? Am I hiding?
These are questions that I ask myself because all too often I find the rejection of Christ doesn’t have anything to do with Christ at all. It has everything to do with me. Am I being authentic with those around me about who I really am and what I’m really struggling with? Or am I trying to show off a polished version of a work that is actually incomplete and always in process?
I would rather be honest about how I fall short every day in my pursuit of Christ than be dishonest, wear a mask, and be unapproachable by those who need Him but are afraid to ask real questions. I don’t want to be part of His fan club, I want to be part of Him. When others look at me, I want them to see Christ. And I want Christ to be easily accessible and acceptable because I have purposefully removed myself from the equation.So, what’s in your closet? And what if someone found it? Here’s a secret… Christ has already found it, and He has redeemed it, so why not be honest about it?