How Should we Respond to People who Call Christians Hypocrites?

Christian hypocrite

You might be familiar with the words of Jesus when He spoke about the ‘speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye’...

Matthew 7:3-5
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Of course, it is physically impossible to even get a ‘plank’ of wood in your own eye, but in that level of over exaggeration Jesus makes the point is made that we should carefully examine our own lives before accusing others in their behaviour or short-comings.

Psychiatrist and author Dr John Warlow joined Neil John on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty progam to discuss one of the biggest criticisms people have about Christians today – that Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites.

Dr John Warlow - Adult, child and family psychiatrist.

In the world today there is an idea of hypocrisy, a double standard, where people say one thing but do another.  Probably every Christian would put up their hand and admit to doing this at some point or multiple times during their lives.

Many times, we would try to avoid topics like these, but the reality is very much the opposite.  Dr John encourages Christians to look inwards and reflect, not to look downwards upon ourselves, but to encourage us to look for ways to be more authentic and humble in our Christian walks.

“We have the tendency when things touch the heart to become defensive,” John shares.  “One way to be defensive is pointing the finger at the other person, and not looking at the three coming back.”

When we first give our lives to Jesus, we humbly ask for forgiveness and there is a spiritual change within us, but that doesn’t mean that the day to day journey from that day on to be Christ like is an easy one.  There are times that we will stumble and fall, but it’s about how do we come back to a time of inward reflection to continually strive to be more Christ like.

Why do some people set such bad examples for being Christ like? And what do we do about it?

“Hypocrisy is a massive turn off in the community talking about Church.  Obviously, the biggest hypocrisy at the moment has been the whole thing with the sexual abuse within the Church.  I think it can also really turn us off our own faith when we actually quietly look at ourselves and say, ‘Hey, how hypocritical am I?’”

“For me, I think it’s just really helpful that we can know that there is a place where I can keep on coming back to when I see the hypocrisy in my life.  And keep on coming back to that place [of reflection], so I can be on that journey of sanctification.”

Continue listening to the full interview below where Dr John and Neil give practical tips on how to ‘remove the plank in our eye’, and as a conversation with the wider body of Christ, they are also joined by a number of callers sharing their own experiences.

Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times.

Find out more about Dr John Warlow and the books he has written at drjohnwarlow.com.

Dr John Warlow's books

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Images in this article are from Shutterstock.

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