Am I A Hypocrite?

Another grey Monday morning in Northern Ireland. Another week of tighter coronavirus restrictions. Infection rates are falling again so they are working but the worry is, once they are lifted, we will return to rising figures and soon be back to square one again. It’s frustrating and disheartening. We await a vaccine with bated breath but, for now, life cannot be as we want it to be. It’s hard to remain hopeful and positive on mornings like this.

I switch on the news and hear that police broke up a number of house parties in Belfast over the weekend. Fines were issued for violations of pandemic restrictions. It’s hard to fathom the thinking of such people who appear to have so little compassion for their fellow man. I’m not allowed to watch my kids play the sports they love but you can cram into a house with your mates and drink yourself into a stupor because you simply…don’t…care.

Do I care enough though? And I’m not talking coronavirus here. Do I care enough about my loved ones or am I simply a hypocrite, ranting about the selfishness of others when, in reality, I’m no better than them. I look in the mirror and often don’t like what I see. Others disappoint me but am I focusing on them in order to avoid the stark, brutal truth – that I’m no better than them and, if anything, I’m worse for jumping on my soap box and preaching about it.

My most popular historic tweets continue to be about my struggles with my faith. My mistrust of other Christians and issues with the organised church. Again I’m criticising others and deflecting the spotlight from my own failings. I have an urge to read the Bible, to add more faith based books to my ‘to be read’ list. I worry about writing word counts, not exercising enough and on and on it goes. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place and the problem is much closer to home.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

18 thoughts on “Am I A Hypocrite?

  1. If you have dipped into the bible from time to time you may have seen this quote, ‘Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye’. The esoteric teaching behind this religious dogma is this; do not compare yourself with others -if you do this neither achievement or failing will compass your mind.

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  2. Good morning Stephen. I appreciate the candor. I love the idea that we are recovering hypocrites. Recovery is a journey, a process rather than an event. Some days I’m better at being judgement free. Some days I get so pissed off because no one else seems to care. What has changed through the process is what I get angry about. To watch others act without giving a flip about others is much different from the hypocrisy of my youth. I’ve become a bit more introspective in my old age and have become grateful that judgement off others drives me to change my behaviors – not to be better than anyone else but to be a better person. I’m convinced it’s what I do with hypocrisy that makes it a positive or a negative thing…

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  3. The battle takes place in the mind. If we see ourselves and life the way the world, the flesh, and the devil do, we will be miserable. True contentment comes with seeing things the way God does and knowing He’s in control. That’s why I’m perpetually “seeking divine perspective.”

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  4. The short answer is, “Yes… you are a hypocrite.” And way too often, so am I. Every one of us is guilty of living lives that fall short of the values we know we should embody. Your honesty and forthrightness in posing the question brings you a lot closer to the life of integrity you seek than folks who can’t (or won’t) look in that tough mirror. Give yourself some grace, but don’t let up on your quest to more closely align “real Stephen” with “ideal Stephen.”

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  5. As usual Stephen, your writing hits close to home as I too struggle with the hypocrisy line. It is often time so much easier to be critical of others as a defense mechanism to keep me from looking in that mirror.
    On the faith front, distrust of others Christians and the organized church is not necessarily a bad thing. I know for me that same mis-giving drove me to the place where I could firmly put my faith, in Jesus. Once there, it has become so much less about me and all about Him.
    Blessings and be safe,
    Chuck
    PS: I just ordered my New Jerusalem Christmas present for my brother. I kind of coerced him into reading book one, and he loved it! So thanks for book 2, my brother is not always the easiest to but for!
    C

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  6. We are all hypocrites. Part of following Christ is the realization that everyone is flawed. People goo to a church for different reasons. Sometimes the reasons may not jive with the reason we should be there. The thing is if we are there we may learn more about what draws us to Christ. We may also learn how not to be. Though none of us is perfect I have found several churches where, though flawed, the people become a family with all the problems that families have and also the love that can be present. Just keep looking where you can for what touches your heart.

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  7. I will admit to looking to other’s faults instead of addressing mine. It is so easy. Amplified and encouraged by the phone and it the outward pull becomes nearly irresistible. But I agree that the only true change in the world is the one done from within. That is so difficult.Thanks.

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  8. This reminds me of the bible verse Matthew 7:3:
    “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”

    I struggle to remember this some days, but always have it in the back of my mind to draw forth when I need it. To encourage others I must be working on myself and moving closer each day to making better decisions for myself. In life we are in control of far less than we think, but our own behaviour is one of the things we can control. Difficult at times, but improvements here are always worthwhile.

    Peace to you and your family.

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