“If you need rules to be kind and just, if you act virtuous, this is a sure sign that virtue is absent. Thus we see the great hypocrisy.”
(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)
Yes, but isn’t it a good thing to “act as if” while trying to attain better qualities? “Fake it till you make it” as twelve-steppers say. Ah but I suspect that this practice only goes so far towards the inner transformation that this passage speaks to. Even members of AA don’t claim healing from alcoholism – only recovery.
Hypocrisy – one of the tried and true excuses of those who balk at the mere mention of church attendance. Fact is, those who state that churches are full of hypocrites are more correct about that than any other claim against Christ followers that have ever been made in the history of time. Ok, that was just hyperbole for effect, but anyone who says differently is worse than a hypocrite – they are fools and liars. Just sayin’.
Take me, for instance. Please. See? See?! Actually, nothing more to see here… move along… and take a listen to this song. I’ve been singing it quite often lately. Guess I need to sing it a few more times. With feeling.
Luke 11:36-38 (The Message)
33-36“No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”
37-41When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.