Have you ever met a religious person who seemed so righteous you couldn’t help but think he or she is a hypocrite?
It seems that we can easily forgive all other types of sinners. But we find it hard to do so with hypocrites.
We can also tolerate many judgmental things that people say about us. But once someone calls us a hypocrite, it seems to pierce right through our very hearts.
What is it about hypocrites that bothers us so much?
Hypocrisy and Lies
Hypocrisy is all about lies and falsehood. It is something that wants to appear good but is really rotten deep within.
No one wants to be fooled or manipulated. We hate it when people lie to us or try to deceive us.
Hypocrisy and Pride
One thing about hypocrites is that we can easily feel they are looking down on us. We see them not only as hypocrites but as self-righteous and judgmental people.
And while we may not admit it, they can easily touch our inner pride. Because it never feels good to have people thinking that they are better or holier than us.
Our Failure To Be Good
Our own failures at trying to be good can make us think that people who seem righteous are just not being true to themselves.
Because we find it so hard to do what is right, we can easily think that all of those who succeeded in pursuing the difficult path are already being hypocrites.
It’s Not Only About Religious People
What we must remember is that hypocrisy is not only about religious people. Even those who don’t practice their faith or those who don’t believe in God can be hypocrites, too.
How many people try to appear good while talking to you and then talk bad about you when you’re not around? How many people try to look charitable to the poor while being disrespectful and violent to their own families?
Our Need For Acceptance
Sometimes we’d rather not strive to be holy because we don’t want to be tagged as hypocrites. Why be called self-righteous when you want to feel like you belong?
All of us have a need to be accepted, and that’s why it’s so hard when someone calls you a hypocrite. We’d rather appear as open sinners than religious hypocrites. We’d rather fail in our efforts to be good than try our very best only to be an outcast later on.
And if we’re doing all of these despite our inner desire to be good, are we still being true to ourselves? Or we also walking the path towards falsehood and hypocrisy?
Finding Authenticity and Goodness
Can you be an authentic and honest person while being good at the same time? Perhaps this is the challenge for all of us.
While none of us can claim to be perfect already, we can still strive to do what is right. Trying to be good and to love other the best we can is being true to the deepest desires of our souls.
This is not being a hypocrite. This is being closer to who we should be – human beings created in the image and likeness of God.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” – Luke 12:2-3 (NABRE)