“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:4-5, NIV
I hated to face the truth about what I’d done.
After I preached to my daughter about the importance of a healthy diet and offered her only eggs, yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast, I turned around and dunked a few Oreos into my coffee once she walked out the door to the bus stop.
I wish I could say this was the only time I’d said one thing and done another. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
I gave a lecture about picking up and staying organized when I’d grown tired of the mess, yet weeks following, it became a family event to search the house for my keys.
I instructed my daughter to talk nicely about her friends at school. To look beyond someone’s appearance. To carry a happy heart into doing chores.
Yet I found myself struggling with the same things.
Early on in my faith, I worked really hard at not being a hypocrite. After all, it’s why Christians can carry such a bad reputation these days.
The community at large can be notorious for saying one thing yet doing another. I wanted to avoid this kind of thing like the plague.
Yet with the crunch of chocolate sandwich cookie in my mouth, I became very aware that I’d just entered hypocrite mode. Embarrassment and shame washed over me. Lies telling me I’m an imposter and I should just give up now also crept in.
I began to beat myself up over it until I realized something – I’m a daughter, too.
And soon the negative emotions and fear began slipping away.
Hypocrisy isn’t good, but if we’re being honest, most of us will struggle with it at some point. Especially as parents, it’s hard to teach the ideal when each day we fall short.
Yet there’s a lot of peace and grace to be found in remembering we’re all children of a Father in Heaven who’s not expecting perfection out of us. He knows we’re going to act hypocritical, along with a suite of other less-than-ideal behaviors.
It’s what we do when we recognize them that counts.
I stopped eating Oreos for breakfast the day I realized I was setting a double-standard. I apologized to the Lord because it revealed something inside of my heart. And it challenged me not to be perfect, but to keep repenting, believing and dunking myself into grace.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me recognize if there’s any hypocrisy in my heart. Forgive me for saying one thing yet doing another. Help me walk in wholeness and receive your grace.
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