a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs,principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude,especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” -Jesus
There are situations in my life where I think, “How did I get here?” They happen more often than I would have ever imagined. Sometimes it’s because of my career, but it also just my nature to be in those circumstances. Like 12 years ago when Crystal and I ran into John Mayer at an antique store in Dallas… just shopping no big deal we hung out for 30 minutes or so just talking about life. Since moving to Nashville these types of things have become common. Crystal is no longer surprised by what would have freaked us out in college.
These “How did I get here” moments are all different. Yesterday I was at Slumfest for work. Slumfest is a music festival put together by rapper Yelawolf. It’s a great event and really speaks to a subculture. It’s times like these though that I really hit those, “How did I get here moments” and yesterday had many. From meeting new people who work in amazing jobs, to witnessing cocaine use in a parking lot to being in the VIP Lounge with people that appear to be the industry “who’s who” and I maybe should care but all that I want is that can of Back Forty Beer that’s been on ice for a few hours while I’ve been sweating.
Those moments are cool and interesting and weird and many other things. I appreciate them and the new experiences they bring. They give me new stories and new things to relate to other people with. But they typically don’t grow me. Sure they may grow me professionally or whatever; but I don’t generally grow as a person from those things. I usually just take a funny video or picture, post it and get back to doing whatever I was doing.
I live this life, it’s fun and it’s crazy. I am thankful for it. But if you’ve known me for any length of time you know that I do crave something deeper. I’ve never been one to settle for the status quo or keeping up with the Joneses. Last night I had a reminder that I am a hypocrite.
You see, I write these things and I do believe them… like really believe them. I read stuff that grows my understanding of it all. I pray and spend time with the Father. I do all of the right things. I work at being a better husband and better father.
Before you jump in and say, “It’s not about what you do.” I understand that also. But what we do is a natural byproduct of our faith. So what we do is important. We are to engage with our faith and walk it out. We are to wrestle with it and rest with it. It’s a push and pull, constant tension kinda thing.
Last night I had a break in that tension. I was leaving Slumfest about to get on the interstate. I looked over to my left under and overpass and saw a man laying on the sidewalk, not moving.
And you know what I did?
I didn’t jump out of my car and go help.
I didn’t driver over just to make sure he was ok.
I drove past.
I assumed he was a drunk homeless person, which made it ok to keep driving.
I reasoned with myself that I couldn’t have actually made it over to him from the lane I was in.
It didn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to correct me. As I made my way onto the on ramp I pulled my phone out and called 911, by this point it truly was too late for me to get to the man lying on the sidewalk, but the lady on 911 assured me that I did the right thing by calling and that they were sending an ambulance right then.
I don't believe I did the right thing. I'm no better than those that past the beaten and robbed man, left for dead in scripture. Who stopped to help him... his cultural enemy. I'm no better than who you despise.
It was in this moment that I said, “How did I get here?”
I want to say that it’s unlike me to do something like this, but that would be untrue. It’s unlike the person that I strive to be for sure… but last night reminded me that I am just as capable of not loving my neighbor as anyone else. I’m just as likely to see a man who could literally be dying and not do a thing as the most cold hearted person you know.
The truth is that we all are. We are all capable of neglecting compassion and empathy. We can get full of pride and call others out, and it feels great. It really inflates our egos.
The Greek for hypocrite literally means “actor”.
Like any good actor we study our script, we learn our lines and we study the character. In our faith we are studying a real person. Much like an actor studying to play a character who is alive we spend time learning from Jesus. We learn how to mimic him, we learn how to appear to be him. We become great actors in our roles.
But we were never called to be actors. When Jesus used the term hypocrite he referred to the death inside the person. Sure, they looked clean, they played the part of life, but they were actually full of death.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2
Actors learn by mimicking. The best actors learn by studying and learning every facet of their character. They learn to think like their character. But in the end Morgan Freeman is still Morgan Freeman.
Jesus calls us to a deeper transformation. We are to be renewed. We are to put to death the old ways and allow him to resurrect new ways.
Sometimes we need a, “How did I get here?” moment to realize it.
Sometimes realizing how much we are like our enemies hurts, but sometimes growth hurts like a real mutha.
So today, allow God to speak to you.
Allow Him to point out the areas in your life that have been overrun by acting.
Allow yourself to hear His voice when he points those things out.
His desire for us is life to the fullest and the best that we tend towards is clean on the outside and dead on the inside.