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'd given her 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 had 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 carry such a bad reputation these days. The church and church people are notorious for hypocricy: they say one thing yet do another. I wanted to avoid this kind of thing like the plague, especially as a mother.

Yet with the crumbs of chocolate sandwich cookie covering 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 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.

We all struggle

Hypocrisy isn't good, and we should strive to have our actions match our words. But if we're being honest, most of us will struggle with it at some point. Especially as parents: It's hard to teach our kids the ideal way to act when every day, we fall short in some way.

Yet there's a lot of peace and grace to be found in remembering we're all beloved 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 for my daughter. I apologized to the Lord because it revealed something inside of my heart. I had to accept that I'm not perfect, and I need to keep repenting. Instead of dunking cookies into milk, I needed to dunk myself in some 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. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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

This devotional first appeared in the Monday Morning Survival Guide. Subscribe to get next Monday's devotional emailed to you.

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