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Fight for Your Happiness Part 5

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted June 10, 2015

RELIGION – This week we are looking at something that makes seemingly everyone unhappy, the proverbial “hypocrite.” This is the stated cause of many people staying away from church (although I think for many it is simply a good excuse) and even the cause of those inside the church to be disillusioned.

So we will continue to look at David Murrary’s Book “The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World” and see if we can glean some wisdom on how to happily and productively deal with hypocrisy in the church.
First off, you can know that Jesus hates hypocrisy. His perennial foes were the most religious in the land, but whose hearts were far from him.
Secondly, Jesus dealt with hypocrisy daily. He knew the hearts of the closest of his followers and saw that those who were truly following him, daily failed in their love and devotion to him.

Thirdly, Jesus, also told us directly that there would never be a pure church in this world. It will always be a mixture of wheat and weeds, true and false, right and wrong, to the end of time (Matthew 13:24-30).

Fourthly, Jesus will use hypocrisy. He allows the trials of the failings of others and our personal times of failing to live up to our stated beliefs as a part of His plan to grow, mature, and develop us. True love and devotion to Jesus as a response of His grace will allow nothing to stand in the way in of your relationship to him.

This means that if you profess love for Jesus and let the hypocrisy of someone at a certain church keep you away, you may need to really question your love for Jesus. This would be like you divorcing your wife because you don’t like a co-worker she has. Your relationship is with her, not the co-worker.

So what should you do to get past the ever present hypocrisy in the church? First, Murray suggests that you try to see Jesus in even the worst Christian. Remember one of the prior keys to happiness was looking at the best in things and not the worst.
Secondly, if you are genuinely hurt by someone’s actions and it is impeding you from coming to worship at church, pray for that person. Stop running them down and pray that God would help them to be more consistent in their walk and faith.

Thirdly, spend time with the supposed hypocritical person. You might reject this, but often times people are dealing with a whole lot more than you know. They may be trying to live for Jesus and in your eyes doing a poor job, but you really have no clue all they are faced with. Spending time with them might help you to enter into their world and be a true blessing to them.

Fourth, see your own faults in them. This has been a huge help for me. My wife actually pointed it out, that people who bother me the most often times act somewhat like me. Of course I at first protested, but she made a case for what a big jerk I can be sometimes and it has been a welcomed dose of humility.

Fifthly, and this should probably be first, look at Christ’s forgiveness of you! Luke 7:47 says that “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." Murray writes that “The more you appreciate the depth, length, breadth, and height of God’s forgiveness, the more you will love Him.” The more you love Him, the more you will be moved to show grace and compassion to other struggling sinners.

So I am not trying to say that hypocrisy in the church does not matter, it does. I am saying that if your goal is to find hypocrisy in a church to give yourself an excuse to stay in your sin and stay away, you will not have to look far. Come hang out with me all day, I am sure I will give you something to throw in my face if you are looking. I hate that and wish I never got in the way of Jesus. But if you today realize that you have never honestly given Jesus a shot, then get in the Gospels and read about the life of the only truly prefect non-hypocrite who ever lived.

Pray to Him and ask Him to make himself known to you! He will, I promise. If you need help let me know. Don’t let anything or anyone keep you away from meeting and coming to know your Savior Jesus Christ.

Pastor Phillip

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