Tag Archives: Hypocrisy

Schneiderman and the Eye-Beam

Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General has been one who has made it his business to tweet against President Trump in many, many areas–from his immigration bans to his military transgender policy.  All the while he also was a spokesperson for the #MeToo movement that has given voice to many women who have been sexually abused.   However, yesterday AG Schneiderman was accused by four women of being abusive: verbally and physically.  The NYAG made a statement that while he has done consentual role-playing he has never sexually assaulted anyone.  As of late last night, Eric Schneiderman made an announcement that he would retire at the end of business day.

I am not seeking to play politics at all.  I am simply giving a quick synopsis of what has transpired so quickly.  And in so doing, seek to remember those words of Christ: “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye,” (Matthew 7:3-4, ESV)?  Politics is politics and everyone jumps on the latest bandwagon and gets as much distance out of it as they can.  In a frenzy to gain political capital, politicians often do not think about their own historical (or present) situation, but only about exploiting an opponent’s weakness.  And let’s be honest, President Trump has had many morally weak moments in life.

It is easier to see these sins in others than it is in ourselves.  We often turn a blind eye to the actions of those whom we love.  And whom do we love most, but ourselves?  It is human (and sinful) nature to turn a blind eye to our own actions and concentrate fully on the actions of others.   When we do that, we become hypocrites.  A hypocrite does two acts: he pretends to be better than who he is, and he puts others under his judgment.  Others must live up to his law, but he doesn’t have to do so himself.  This is why Jesus called these “eye-beamed” people hypocrites.  “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Notice that one cannot see clearly–see the truth of the matter–why he/she is still in the center of it themselves.  A person must remove himself/herself from whatever sin they are in, in order to help the person out.  So if Mr. Scheiderman had received help for his “role-playing,” and abuses, so that now he is an exemplary gentleman who treats women with dignity, then he can see clearly enough to help (not point fingers and accuse and belittle, but help) President Trump out with his situation (if he is still in his situation).

Often people believe it is hypocritical to point others in a different direction than the direction that they have taken themselves.  That’s not hypocrisy.  It is not hypocritical to come to the realization that you have made mistakes, taken wrong turns, made wrong and harmful choices, learned from it, and try to keep others from doing the same.  That’s what we all should be doing.  But it is hypocritical for those who are still in the midst of these sins, wrongs, mistakes, etc. to lambaste another person for being in the same boat as they.

People may hold politicians to a lower standard than others because it’s…well it’s just politics.  It’s part of the game.  They all do it.  Both sides are not immune to hypocrisy.  That’s true.  They both do it, but our double-standard is just as sinful as their hypocrisy.  God does not hold people to varying standards.  He holds them accountable to His law.  As Christians we ought to do the same.

I am not attempting to lambaste Mr. Schneider (or President Trump).  I hope it has not come across as such.  I am simply wanting to remind us that as believers in Jesus, we must be very, very careful about the words that come out of our mouths or from our finger tips.  We have been called to help, pray for/over, and lead.  Even when John the Baptist confronted Herod in public, he confronted him to his face and not behind his back.

Christian brothers and sisters, let us be known for our holiness.  Let us be known for our love.  Let us be known, then, for our holy love.  May people see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven.

What do you think?  Am I wrong?  Let me know your thoughts and opinions by replying back.  I’d love to hear from you.  All I ask is for respectfulness from everyone.

Specks and Beams

So often we are able to see the slightest of sins in another person, when there are glaring sins in our own lives that we are blind to.  A person sleeps in on Sunday and doesn’t attend church and so we condemn them in our hearts, meanwhile, those very same hearts are asleep to God’s mercy and grace and are far from true worship.  We condemn people silently in our hearts for smoking or drinking, all the while we are gluttons.  We see their sins and are oblivious to our own.

Like the parable of the lost son.  The brother saw that his younger sibling ran off with dad’s money and squandered it all. How sinful!  How awful!  Yet he was completely blind to his own anger and hatred.  Jonah saw the Ninevites as ruthless, evil, wicked sinners in need of judgment.  Yet when they repented he was angry and sat in judgment of God for saving them.  He saw their evil deeds but was blind to his own evil heart.

The irony is that we believe that the tiny speck of sin in someone else’s eye is a beam, while the beam in our eye is just a speck.  Jesus told us to get our house in order before we try to get someone else’s house in order.  A good rule of thumb is that the moment you see someone else’s faults, stop looking at them and turn your eyes to your own life and heart.

Let me give you a personal example.  While at the conference once, there was a young man in our hotel who needed a ride to the Yum Center.  We let him tag along for the ride.  The entire ride he talked about himself.  He talked as if he had all the answers.  As I am driving, I am getting irritated just from listening to him.  In my mind, I am listing all his faults or pride and arrogance and presumption and the list was getting longer by the second.  And as I am thinking this, I started to pride myself on not being prideful, and knowing that I don’t have all the answers, and not being presumptuous.  I was guilty of the exact same things I was condemning this young man for.  But my pride and presumption wasn’t nearly as glaring to me as his were.

It is so easy to allow the actions of others to cloud the thoughts of our own hearts and blind us to our own actions.  They don’t clean the way we want.  They don’t school the way we think they should.  They don’t preach the way we feel they should.  They don’t stand up for the things we stand up for.  And soon we have a heart that condemns and a heart that is critical.  And we forget that we were dead in our trespasses and children of wrath, but God, in his love for us, in his mercy made us alive together with Christ.  Our hearts and mouths are filled with harsh, critical, judgmental words while at the same time receiving the grace, love, and mercy from God for our own sins.  O! What hypocrisy we commit!  So Jesus gave a warning against hypocrisy.

(Excerpt adapted from my sermon on Matthew 7:1-6).