A Convenient Cry of “Hypocrisy”
A preacher’s son who himself is now a preacher began to change his ideological positions. In doing so he began to drift further from his preacher father. Suddenly he began to expose certain hypocrisies he saw in his father. He was critical of things that he felt his father had been inconsistent on.
I have learned that often times the cry of hypocrisy is often used as a tool of excuse. The truth is hypocrisy exists in all of us. We refuse to watch liquor ads on TV or eating restaurants that serve liquor, but we walk right past the liquor in the grocery store. There is not a one of us who lives a purely non-hypocritical life. I contend it’s actually impossible. If you want to find inconsistencies in my life you will find them and I can certainly find them in yours as well. However, usually we find those inconsistencies and hypocrisies when we want to. And we want them when we feel like we need to justify our own position.
Rather than this preacher son choosing to do what he felt was right, he used stories about his father’s inconsistencies to defend the changes he was making. That tells me one of two things. First, it tells me he is not real sure about his decision so he has to excuse it by condemning or attacking his father. Second, it tells me that he is a rebel and is looking for a reason to turn against his father. Either is wrong.
I have had men who worked with me and had no complaints leave me and began to criticize my inconsistencies and hypocrisies. That is not unusual. Be careful when you hear such an accusation. Usually it is self-serving. It is usually something that they were fine with that the time, but later discovered they needed to use as an excuse.
Be careful about accusing anyone of being a hypocrite. All of us are guilty of inconsistencies. All of us have been hypocritical at times. It is a sign of your weakness when you use that to excuse or justify your own actions or decisions.
Inconsistencies are found in everyone’s life and ministry. Living life is, in essence, a struggle for consistency. Bible principles are available to help keep us on track. Life as it is lived is an adventure for all of us. We learn as we travel and as we view those who have preceded us. Each of us, as we spend time in the Word of God, discover nuggets of truth that God gives as answers to life’s needs that arise to each generation. The Scripture tells us we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices. Each generation will have to fight the same battles of their fathers, which are disguised by the culture of the day. The trap set by Satan is not easily recognizable for he is a minister of light with subtle activities. So, the fight for consistency continues.
Each generation is blind to their own inconsistencies. The inconsistencies which are pointed out by the sons and daughters are blind spots. Soon the sons and daughters will develop their own blind spots as they travel down their path of ministry. There is a reason why the Scripture says “Greater works than these shall ye do.” We can do more if we know more. It is always later on in your ministry travels that you discover your own inconsistencies and correct them. So, be careful in your quick judgments of others’ so-called hypocrisy.
Being inconsistent is necessary to being consistent. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God is a statement which tells the tale on our relationship with God, not with man. When we compare ourselves with each other we can easily pick out someone who makes us look good in comparison. However, when we see ourselves in relation to our Saviour we see how short we come compared to Him. So, being inconsistent brings attention to the need to diligently work to be consistent. To use inconsistency as an excuse to be inconsistent is folly.
The pointing out of shortcomings of those who precede us is juvenile. When we spend our time searching for the faults and inconsistencies of those who precede us, we are wasting valuable time on a wasteful activity. The only reason anyone will do such things is to dull their own consciousness of activities they would have never allowed in prior days. Modesty is still modesty for every generation of God’s people regardless of the so-called inconsistencies of the previous generation.
The result is misdefining Scripture in order to justify our own inconsistencies. A young preacher quoted “I can do all things…” and even had a t-shirt made up to wear as he and his wife wore immodest clothing. When you point to your parents’ struggles to be consistent and see an opening to justify a worldly lifestyle is childish to say the least. You do what you want to do, but in order to not let it bother you it is necessary to point to inconsistencies of those who preceded. To ignore or mis-define clear commands of Scripture by noting your predecessors so-called hypocrisies is dangerous for you and yours.
Understand your parents struggled to stay consistent. Every generation has to fight their own battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil. You will not go through life without having to struggle as your parents struggled. Life is hard enough without bringing up the struggles of those who gave you your very existence as a reason to do what you want to do.
The word “honor” in the Bible concerning your parents means to put your weight down on the good. It means to prize. It means to build up. It means to focus on the good. When at home you are to obey and honor. After you marry you are no longer commanded to obey, but you are commanded to honor your parents. With this God says He will cause you to live a longer life.
Make sure you do not do, what you do not like in others. When young people would come in for counseling concerning their troubled relationship with their parents I would always give them the same advice. I would tell them to make a list of those things their parents did which they felt was wrong and make sure they NEVER do those things. We are so fickle when it comes to what we see in others and our need to correct them while never taking an honest inventory of ourselves.
A healthy relationship with your parents or predecessors is extremely vital to good spiritual health. A mind-set focused on the good of those who nurtured you and brought you along in life will be muddied if you spend your time taking note of their inconsistencies. You have enough to work on in your own life without letting a burr under your saddle cause you be bucked off. When this current world’s culture starts to take over your life and you start to play mental games of justification you will lose.