November 14

Written by Bill Grandi on November 14th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Saying vs Living.

The past few days I’ve been reading a book by Mary Jo Sharp called Why I Still Believe. It is subtitled “A former atheist’s reckoning with the bad reputation Christians give a good God.” Mary Jo’s basic premise is after her conversion to Christ from atheism, how could she reconcile the church’s poor representation of Jesus. Her husband became a worship pastor almost by default so she got hit first hand with hypocrisy. In fact, the day she came to church to make her commitment public, the pastor’s wife judged her on the dress she was wearing. No greeting but a disdained “looking down on her” look with the words that she needed to check her dress. There was too much cleavage. In another incident, an atheist friend of hers she invited to class asked some honest questions about creation/young earth/old earth and was rudely shot down by the teacher and the pastor. They had no idea who he even was.

Hypocrisy wears many coats and hats. And I suppose we all (definitely me) are hypocrites from time to time. I know for a fact my actions do not always match my words. To quote Mary Jo:

Hypocrisy requires a reference to a standard of moral conduct which a person verbally accepts, but then denies by their behavior. (p.149)

Here is my analysis of it:

Standard= the Bible, God’s Word

Claim= to believe the Bible

Hypocrisy= to say I believe but live opposite.

I confess. I am a hypocrite at times. I don’t want to be. But I am.  Sounds like Romans 7 doesn’t it? But I also know that cannot be a cop out or a “get out of jail free” card. Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for the Pharisees, the religious hypocrites.

“Father, Your Word is true. It tells me all I need to know to live a life of godliness and holiness. But believing it and living it are two different things. Help me not to live a life contrary to Your Word, Your standard.”

{Note: Mary Jo’s book is an excellent and easy read. She has taken a very difficult subject (the existence of God) as well as the hypocrisy she has seen and molds them into a fine book. I’d highly recommend it. And, in case you are wondering, she exposes the hypocrisy of the atheist beliefs as well}.


7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Crystal says:

    I just read about Mary Jo and her book on an interview posted to Biblegateway – she definitely seems to face the issue of atheism and hypocrisy “in the church” straight on. Looks like a worthwhile book to read. 🌞

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Her website is an excellent source of information also Crystal and she mentions her interview on Biblegateway. I’d recommend the book

  2. Ryan S. says:

    One thing I know about myself, I am a sinner saved by Grace. I Identify as a Christian only because God knows I can’t meet the standard He has set. Perhaps the term hypocrite should be saved for those that are quick to point the faults out in others but ignore their own faults. Though I have been there as well. I guess that puts me back to my first statement.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It all comes back to that first statement Ryan. We are all sinners saved by grace. And I am so glad I have been!

  3. Mary Jo’s book sounds like a fascinating read, Bill! And yes, all of us are more than capable of being hypocrites even when we know it’s wrong to act that way. May God guide us to become more like Jesus every day instead.

  4. floyd says:

    “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it..”

    Yeah, we all fail. Thank our Father for His grace…