“I just unfriended the most hypocritical person I have ever met…”
When those words appeared on my computer screen I knew that I was never meant to see them, yet I did. For years they have haunted me and pointed out how flawed I am. They have caused me to doubt whether any part of my witness has ever been valid or if I my own hypocrisy has been a continuous stain to the name of Jesus. They weren’t random words. They were words aimed to cut, to hurt, and to cause pain.
A couple of weeks ago one of my daughters came inside with a scratch up the side of her face. She had run into a stick and it cut her a little deeper than you would think it should. It hurt for a moment, caused a few tears, and then she moved on. Now the evidence of that incident is all but gone and the memory of it will soon fade. She may have a scar and if so she can make up some crazy story about how her sister gave her a flesh wound while they were fighting off a dragon.
While her scratch is going away, those words still hurt me. They cut to the core of who I don’t want to be. The enemy knows that and he is trying to use that to cripple me.
My hypocrisy began in the form of judgement. I somehow found it easy to ignore Jesus’ words and point out others’ specks rather than my own plank (Matthew 7:3-5). It’s easier to ignore my own insecurities, sins, and hypocrisy when I am looking at everyone else’s.
“A fool belittles his neighbor but lacks sense.” - Proverbs 11:12
I never set out to be called a hypocrite and I never wanted to be called a fool. It seems that I have achieved both of those titles.
Belittlement doesn’t just come in a face to face conversation. It comes in the sarcasm and the bickering. It comes in the text messages and the Facebook posts. It comes in the gossip and slander that we get so easily trapped by. Belittlement comes when we intentionally hurt someone else so that we can feel better for a few small moments.
Sticks and stones hurt and cripple the flesh. Words can cripple the soul.
I want to choose my words carefully. I want to live in such a way that hypocrisy and foolishness are the furthest thing from anyone’s mind at my funeral.
What about you?
What words have been difficult for you to overcome?
What words have you said to hurt someone?