The great sin mask.

I recently asked a friend who stopped attending church years ago, why they fell away from it.  In short, their reply was something to the effect that people in the church were hypocrites.  Pretending to be something other than their true selves on Sunday mornings.  I thought about this long and hard and I can’t say that I fully disagree.  I’m not saying Christians as a whole are not good God loving people, I’m just acknowledging that our lives are also filled with sin.  Which while I appreciate the fact that we’re all just human, I think we often mask our sins with religion or faith.  I don’t think we maliciously set out to hide behind our faith, I just think our human nature sometimes takes over and we look for ways to justify it with a churchy response.  Here are just a few examples of what I mean.

Bragging disguised as blessings:

Christians often disguise bragging as a thankful blessings display.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s natural to be proud of our accomplishments, of our possessions we’ve worked hard for, by our new home, new car, etc.   That’s totally okay, show those things off if you’d like, what peeves me is when someone tells you about their new car or posts about it on social media with a “check out the new car God blessed me with” caption.  Giant mansion #blessed.  {insert eye roll}  Newsflash, wether you drive a used Honda, a brand new Mercedes Benz, or anything in between, you are blessed.  The bottom line is, possessions and successes do not equate blessings and sometimes we forget that.  We are just blessed to be known by name by such an incredibly loving God regardless of if were sitting in a mansion with a pool or a tin shack with a leaky faucet.

 

Glorifying ourselves disguised as glorifying the Lord:

Another form of bragging we as Christians often do is to glorify ourselves and our own good deeds and mask it as glorifying God.  When we first moved here, we attended a church for about a year.  Sunday after Sunday, we listened to the pastor tell all about himself.  All about all the mission work he had done.  Allllllllll of his good deeds.  A feeling of discernment began to stir within me as I realized this man was more interested in glorifying his own works than he was glorifying the Lord.  I also often see friends post on social media about what good deed they did, what random act of kindness they did.  Why do we need to know what YOU did?  The bible is clear in telling us our giving should be done in private.  When you feel the need to yell from the rooftop what great thing you’ve done, you’re making it less about God and more about yourself!  Be less concerned with patting yourself on the back than you are storing your treasures in heaven.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  Matthew 6:3-4

Gossip disguised as prayer requests:

“Did you hear that Jack and Jill are getting divorced?  I hear he was having an affair with his secretary.  Poor Jill!  She really needs our prayers right now”

“Jill’s son seems to be getting into a lot of trouble lately.  I think he has drug problems.  Let’s be praying for him”

Listen, I’m not saying these things aren’t true.  I’m not saying poor Jill doesn’t genuinely need our prayers.  I’m simply saying that spilling intimate details of Jill’s life to friends and other church members is gossip.  Plain and simple old fashioned hen house gossip.  Am I saying you shouldn’t pray for Jill?  Of course not!  Pray for Jill and her whole family.  But it isn’t your place to go and tell the world why Jill needs your prayers.  If Jill wants Susie Q in your ladies bible study to know her business, she will probably tell Susie Q herself, that’s not your place.  Thank you, drive through.

Excuses disguised as conviction from the Lord:

I once had a guy break up with me and use God as an excuse.  I know what you’re thinking, what fool would possibly not want to be in a relationship with someone as incredibly awesome as myself right?  Hahahah I kid, I kid. He told me he felt God didn’t want him in a relationship at all at that time of his life. He felt that God wanted him to spend some time alone and focusing on rebuilding a relationship with Him, drawing closer to his faith before he could be in a relationship with anyone else.  I mean, seems legit right?  Within 2 weeks, he had a new girlfriend.  Hmmm… wonder if that worked out for them…  I digress. The thing is, honesty would have been much easier to swallow than this excuse that made him sound like he was truly called to obey a vow of solitude.

Okay okay, you want me to be really honest?  I’ve used the ole “I prayed about it and it just doesn’t seem like the right time” excuse before too. It most often had more to do with me digging my heels in and saying “I don’t wanna” rather than the voice of the Holy Spirit telling me it wasn’t the right time to join the praise and worship team, take on another responsibility, volunteer for something, etc.  We’ve got to get better about being honest and saying “I really just don’t want to right now”.

 

What is the point in this post you might be asking?  Well, I wanted to just admit that we Christians aren’t perfect.  We sin too.  We lie sometimes too as you can read about in this past post lies Christians tell if you’re interested in that sort of thing.  Just because we love Jesus, doesn’t mean we know how to be like Jesus.  Should this turn you away from the church though?  NOOOOOOOOOOOO!  In fact, it should make you realize that God loves all his people, he’s forgiving, gracious, and kind and he wants your sinful self in a pew too!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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