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The label "hypocrite" is thrown about quite liberally by some today.  And, in fact, there are hypocrites among us.  However, there are also those who misuse the word, labeling people falsely, sometimes even for their own purposes.  Let me give you an example of what I mean.  My dad used to smoke.  When I was young he told me, "Don't ever smoke, it can be really hard to quit."  By some people's definition, this would be considered hypocritical since he told me not to do something that he himself did; but that's not hypocrisy.  In fact, that was exactly what he should have told me, and he shouldn't have waited until he had quit smoking to do so as some might suggest.  You see, dad understood there was a better road, because he had walked a worse one.  He understood that the road he chose was difficult to come back from, and he wanted to spare me from that.  That's not hypocrisy, that's conveying wisdom according to one's own knowledge, experience and understanding.  Actual hypocrisy is the false portrayal of character, virtue or beliefs.  It's pretending to be something we're not -- sometimes unknowingly -- and especially while shaming or condemning others for not living up to our standards.  This is very different from stating the truth, yet failing to live it out perfectly.  And that difference is rooted in humility.  Don't allow others to use this tactic to silence you from speaking the truth simply because you fail to live up to God's word fully.  The truth is the truth whether we live it perfectly or not.  However, be careful when speaking boldly against sin.  Be certain to not condemn anyone.  Be humble and wise, offering encouragement, guidance and truth, so that you yourself would not be found to be a hypocrite.  1 Timothy 1:12-17 & Matthew 23:1-32, 7:3-5




















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