Back in 2006, a very said story hit the national news. It was regarding a man who was the pastor of a very large church in Colorado Springs, CO, who was also was serving as the President of the National Association of Evangelicals. This man also had some direct connections to the ministry of Focus on the Family, also located in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately for the cause of Christ, the story broke that he had been involved with drugs and a male prostitute and, as a result, faced prosecution. Similarly, I remember hearing just in the past year or two about a man who was the leader of a ministry to help stop child sex-trafficking who was himself, you guessed it, charged with child-sex trafficking while serving in that position.
We hear those stories and, rightly so, shake our heads. How can you be so “two-faced” as to outwardly take a stand against the very evils that you are actively a part of? Unfortunately there are many tragic examples just like these two cases. In fact, this issue of hypocrisy is talked about in our reading today in Romans 2. Take a look at the first 3 verses of this chapter, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”
We as a fallen race have a history of being very critical of the sins of others, yet often not realizing we can be easily guilty of the same sins ourselves. I remember hearing a preacher say that often we are most harsh towards others about the sins that we often struggle with most ourselves. For example, if I struggle with anger, I am very likely to come down more severely on one of my kids if I see anger in their own lives compared to other sins. Yet the question is if I am just as harsh on myself when I am angry? If not, aren’t I guilty of being hypocritical just like the men at the start of this devotional? So while there certainly is a time and place to call out the evils in others and in our society as a whole, let’s be careful to not be overly critical of others when there are roots of hypocrisy present in our own hearts.