a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
It is a word often used to describe Christians. It is the reason many claim to not attend church. Many say Christians act like they believe they are better than others; as if they are without sin.
The big problem is that Christians are not being real. We talk about the need to admit our sins and accept salvation, and then we hide behind a facade of perfection. Our pride takes over and we hide our struggles from others (including our church family). Even during the best times in our lives we still have struggles, challenges and temptations.
A Christian is not sinless
They are just forgiven
Life doesn’t become perfect after we seek God’s forgiveness
We still live in a fallen and sinful world with pain and struggles.
To sit in church each week and pretend life is perfect and then go home and be short and impatient with your family because of stress or other concerns and holding it all in is wrong.
First, the church is not a building but the body of believers. God calls us to fellowship together to support and encourage one another, to join in praise of our LORD and Savior.
Second, hiding our struggles, claiming we are fine and acting out of stress instead of love does not reflect Christ. We are called as Christians to be imitators of Christ. So that the world may see the love of God.
Two qualities that defined Jesus were compassion and vulnerability.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
“A woman caught in adultery” — How did they know? Most likely she supported herself through prostitution. Everyone knew, no one spoke of it. She was the perfect scapegoat to trap Jesus with. Adultery is a sin, a sin punishable by death through stoning. She is brought to the feet of Jesus. The religious leaders question Jesus… How will he respond… Can they trap him? Can they accuse of him of being a heretic?
Jesus does not courtesy them with a response. Instead he begins to write in the sand. Many speculate he is writing the names of religious leaders and town officials who have used this woman’s services and therefore are guilty of the same sin.
And the crowd began to walk away, leaving Jesus standing their and the woman at his feet. He asks the woman if there is anyone left to condemn her, she replied, “no”. And then he told her that he did not condemn her either.
This isn’t saying that Jesus thought she wasn’t guilty, he knew she was. But her life (which is coming death would save) was more important than her guilt.
This is probably the most difficult for us to practice, but Jesus understood the need for transparency.
Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Jesus knew that he would die soon. He knew it was something he couldn’t avoid, and that it was God’s will. He saw the big picture, what his death would mean for past, present and future generations, Yet he was so stressed that he sweat blood (Hematohidrosis). I’m not sure if Jesus feared death, but the coming events brought severe stress, and before God he shared this, and asked if there was any way other than death for God’s will to be fulfilled.
Jesus was vulnerable, open and honest about his struggles. We need to show being a Christian is not about perfection, but about honest obedience to God’s will and the struggles that come with this calling. We need to be compassionate more than judgmental, vulnerable more than proud. If we can do this, then we can show the world, Christians and Non-Christians alike, the true character of God.