Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Are You Ruining Your Christian Witness?

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)

Hypocrisy is a subject Jesus warns against on multiple occasions. He mentions it four times in the Sermon on the Mount. Christians are not to be hypocrites. What does this mean? One thing it means is that we are not to point out the sins of others while ignoring our sins.

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4)

Doing so destroys our witness. It ruins any credibility we may have. If we go around pointing out the sins of others without dealing with our own, then our words become meaningless. No one will pay attention. No one will listen because we have given them no reason to do so.

“Self judgment is the first duty.” – Jack P. Lewis

Hypocrisy thrives in the realm of politics. This ungodly behavior is encouraged. To not be hypocritical is frowned upon. To tell the truth and admit the faults of your side is to show weakness while blatantly repeating the faults of others, even if they are minor or untrue, is considered a winning strategy. Politicians and pundits practice this daily on the 24-hour-news channels. There is nothing fair or admirable about it.

The problem is that many Christians join in this bad behavior. Some social media accounts are filled with post after post criticizing the other side. What is missing is any critique of the party they belong to or the politicians they support. It doesn’t matter if every post is true, it is hypocrisy. It is what Jesus warns against. When we do this, we are wrecking our witness. We are sabotaging our credibility.

What ultimately matters in life are eternal things. To think we might miss out on sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with someone else because we hypocritically pursued a political victory is appalling. We should care more about our witness than winning any election. We should be careful that we don’t sell our birthright for a mess of pottage.

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