Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: I have gone to church since I was born. I am born again. I pray, go to Bible studies and teach teens about Jesus ... but I also gossip, tell white lies and say bad words. Does this make me a hypocrite? Abso-freakin-lutely NOT!
Oh, I am sure I've ruffled some feathers now. That was not my intent. This post is not meant to piss anyone off (oops, there I go again). It's simply meant to ease the agitation some people feel about church and Christians.
As Christians, we believe we are wiped clean when we ask the Lord into our hearts. But that doesn't mean that we believe we will now be as sinless as Christ himself. Unfortunately, many people are turned off when they know that someone is an avid churchgoer and then hear them lay down a nasty word about the ref who just gave their son the yellow card.
Christians are supposed to strive to be Christ-like, but striving and being are two totally different things.
We as a society aren't supposed to cheat or scrimp on our taxes, either, but how many people do? Do they know it's wrong? Yep. Can they help themselves? Sometimes not.
The whole "hypocrite" accusation comes because there are people who do actually have two lives. On Sundays, they stand in church and they get it, but the rest of their life is a mess. The difference between them and the people who are annoyed by them is that they invite God to help them with their mess. They learn from their mistakes and trust that they are forgiven and can get back up and try again.
It's no fun failing (for anyone), but please don't think someone can't be a Christian if they fall. Church, in my book, is a place to bring your mess, your crap, your sins and lay it all out for the Lord -- not for all the people in your pew. It's none of their business. My crap is between me and my God.
So the next time you think you have spotted the Great Jesus Hypocrite, just realize that you can't see inside their heart, which is most likely in the right place. Is yours?