Hypocrites

It’s Advent and I have been out selling books at church craft sales. For me, it’s a struggle to sit behind a table, try to catch someone’s eye and say hello. I’m not a salesperson, but I do want people to read what I have written. Very often, people glance at my table, read the signs and keep right on walking. I can only think that they see the words “anchored in faith” and make the judgment – Don’t look at those books. They’ll be selling religion.”

One of the biggest heartaches for me as a Christian is the judgment of today’s world that all Christians are fanatics and hypocrites. As I talked with the people who had the courage to stop at my table anyway, I heard stories of difficulties experienced with “religious people”. One man said, “I used to be involved with a church, but the people weren’t helpful. They said they were being followers of Jesus’ way, but they weren’t. They spoke the words, but they didn’t live them. I didn’t leave God, I just left religion and the church.” He walked away his mind closed to my message of God’s peace and love because, in his mind, all church people are hypocrites.

Today, it is widely believed that church people should be able to totally live as Jesus taught. They should always be compassionate; never judge; always accept everyone. The list of “should” goes on and on. Christians should be perfect. When we’re not, our message is thrown away.

My suggestion, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31NIV) Christianity is a life journey. As Christians, we go astray at times, some of us further than others. We get tired; we are grumpy at times. We are passionate; we get lost in our enthusiasm and overwhelm others. We have all the temptations to greed, violence, whatever and we make bad choices.  We are not perfect.

What we have learned through experience is that together, we can more often make good choices. Together we can encourage one another. Together we are stronger, more able to live that unconditional love that Jesus taught. Together, we learn and grow in our understanding of Jesus’ message. Our religious rituals help us on the journey. Being church people helps us live the faith. Christmas is a perfect example. As we gather this Christmas, to hear once again the story of the baby born in difficult circumstances to ordinary parents, our hearts will soar at the peace, hope, joy, and love that fills our souls. Once again, we will be renewed and drawn back to the journey of a life of Christian love.

2 thoughts on “Hypocrites”

  1. Janet, I can resonate with what you are saying. Many people have high expectations about Jesus and how followers of Jesus should behave. I have written only one book and many blogs trying to show and tell Christians the REAL ALIVE JESUS. I’m finding it a hard row to hoe. Many people inside and outside the Church have their own ideas and many just want to believe in the STORY that a celibate mother bore and gave birth to a celibate male called Jesus and when he grew up he was more righteous and more obedient to God’s rituals and rules than all his followers and everyone in the whole wide world. Of course people don’t want to believe that. But…if one tries to say that Jesus was a sinner like everyone else, many people shake their heads and shrug their shoulders…saying so what’s the point? He got himself crucified and then some people came along and said…he rose from the dead, and then 40 days later he disappeared and ascended into heaven. So many people attending church or watching some documentary on TV, can’t comprehend the idea that a dead guy can really come back to life and stay alive and live forever with a cloud of witnesses who realize they too died with him and his resurrection is their resurrection. His resurrection, is the proof that death is a lie. The Resurrection is the TRUTH. This seems so crazy. Countless people witness people dying everyday. In their grief, they just can’t believe they will ever see their loved one again in the flesh and if they did…that would be reincarnation! And many voices around the world say there is no proof fro reincarnation.

    So, yes Janet…it is hard to talk about religion or sell books about faith. But God Bless you Janet. You are keeping the story and the faith alive through your writing so that the people who read what you have written can contemplate the STORY of Jesus. Thank you.

    1. Hi Linda, Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s always good to know that someone has read and thought about my blog. Please go to http://www.janetstobie.com and check out my books. Most of them are available on Amazon. If you would like a signed copies just email your order to me. I will have to charge shipping. Sometimes if you order enough Amazon gives free shipping. Blessings Janet

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