Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christian Hypocrisy & Justice

Who hasn't heard Christians called hypocrites?  It's easy to point fingers when we see the headlines that show a famous Christian has really screwed up.  It's easy to say "I can't believe he/she did that.  I would never do that."

But you know what?  Even if we never do what we see others do, we're all still hypocrites.  When it comes down to it, if something benefits us, then "it's ok", we think.

Here's a case in point.

I have a friend who often posts about injustices in China and wants to make sure she buys as much "made in the USA" as possible.  I think that's great, and I think maybe I should pay attention to that too.  And then I go track the delivery of my new computer, and it starts out in China.  Hmm.  Didn't think about that when I was researching what to get.

Or I read about the importance of buying fair-trade coffee and I think, hey, I love coffee and buy a lot of it.  I should make sure to buy fair trade.  And then I see a bunch of fun flavors at Christmastime and buy them without first checking to see if they are fair trade.

Or, as my friend Megan points out, being pro-life isn't necessarily being pro-life.
"I wonder how the committed Christians, so deeply morally opposed to the slaughter of unborn children, feel about the slaughter of innocent Afghanis and Iranians caught in the crossfire of war."
 As I've thought about these topics the last couple of days, this well-known verse has come to mind:
"Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?"  --Matthew 7:3
It is easy to be opinionated and passionate about ideas or positions on topics and to think it is all black and white when it is more abstract. But when it is something that we are faced with personally, we tend to change our tune.  Then we see the shades of gray that weren't so visible before.  Then we start to realize maybe there's a lot more going on.  If we want to benefit from something, we will have a more relaxed attitude towards it.

I benefited from flavored coffee and a new computer, so I didn't think about how those things affected people I don't know--but I bet they did.  I didn't notice that log in my eye, even as I nod my head and agree with the writings on justice that I've recently read.

There is often a disconnect between what we believe and how we act, for a variety of reasons.  In addition to how something benefits (or doesn't benefit) us, sometimes, we have not given much thought to an issue.  Or we've only thought about it from one perspective and haven't looked at all the different angles.  Or we haven't been educated about it at all.

It's important to realize that we are all hypocrites--because we are always learning and growing in faith and discipleship.  Nobody's got it all together; nobody's got it all figured out.  We must always be aware of that and we must always realize that for everything we see in someone else, there's at least that if not more going on inside of us.


disqus_ws1IfF23Ib said...

Well said...

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Test comment from my phone using disqus.