Being a Hypocrite

I could be right, of course. But I could also be disastrously wrong as (unfortunately) I've learned more than once. Perhaps my immediate reaction means nothing more than "I can't see myself doing what he is doing." I'm not an extrovert but he is. I ought not to deduce anything about his sincerity or from that personality difference.

As Jesus taught, I ought not to judge, to condemn another person in some way, since Jesus has the right to judge, not I (Jn. 5:22). Dieter F. Uchtdorf (first counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church, its highest governing body) said:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It's that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.

I should take that advice. I should cease being concerned with who is a hypocrite and who isn't. The LDS Church—every church—is filled with us, with hypocrites. We aren't difficult to find. But it's not my business to discover them.

In the end, hypocrisy is a terrible sin but it is also just one more of the sins we find among those who worship Christ, those who've been invited to give up all our sins and come to him. If we imitate him, then we too will invite sinners, including those who may be hypocrites, to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. And we will hope to be invited in the same way.

4/26/2012 4:00:00 AM
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  • James Faulconer
    About James Faulconer
    James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, where he has taught philosophy since 1975.
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