The Grand Illusion – on being a hypocrite 3

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (English Standard Version)

 19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

 Some might read this passage and say, see Paul was being a hypocrite, and he was pretending to be different things so that he could persuade others to believe. But if you read this passage carefully nowhere does it say that Paul was pretending. It says he became. There is a vast difference between being (becoming) and pretending.

 Pretending is all about seeking to persuade others by acting out what you think they need to see, so that you might win them over. This is indeed hypocrisy.

 Being or becoming is something that is very real, the only way to do this is by actually entering into another’s life, by becoming or being one of them; no pretense is involved, just genuine concern for the other. 

 I believe that when Paul says “I have become all things to all people”, that a lot of people automatically think pretense, which means hypocrisy.   

Are you “being” what others need you to “be”, so that by some means you might save them?

Or are you just “being” a hypocrite.

 The grand illusion goes on…


The Grand Illusion – on being a hypocrite 2

I guess I will continue for now, just some simple thoughts (or not) to throw out today.

I don’t want to defend the hypocrite here i.e. myself. But I think both science and psychology will bear me out on this and I am most certain scripture will as well. That if you say something long enough or do it long enough that you will eventually believe that it is true. It scripture Jesus called such a thing the hardening of the heart, I am not sure what psychology calls it but I am sure that there is a name a name for it.

I in my life have witnessed this from both perspectives. I won’t get into those here, that will probably be another wrting much later on.

In psychology; we experince a painful experience which has caused a really deep hurt in us ,which really eats away at us and to cover up this pain we gradually make up our story or sequence of events as to how this all happened and then we start telling ourselves and others this story, as time goes on this made up story becomes so ingrained in us that it somehow replaces the true story in our minds, it actually becomes truth to us (even though it is not).

I really don’t think that the hardening of the heart that I spoke of earlier is totally dis-similar, the main difference I believe is that instead of the individual making up the story to make themselves feel better, I believe that this new story comes in for them from a variety of different sources, but it is the same, in that it is told to them over and over again and eventually it becomes truth to them (again, even though it is not).

I struggle with both circumstances and have lived in both, and both definitely fit into what has come to be known as the grand illusion.

I am ever thankful that by the grace of God that I am ever being pulled out of this illusion, it is a struggle that continues and one that I still battle with daily, but I will not give up because God has not given up on me.

What we need to remember as we go through these struggles relying on God’s grace to constantly rescue us; is that there are many other’s out there who have yet to experience the grace of God, who walking around trapped is this grand illusion.

The real problem of hypocrisy here lies not in the story that we have come to believe, but in the fact that we deny that the illusion exists.

So the grand illusion goes on…

The Grand Illusion – on being a hypocrite

One of the phrases I use on a regular basis is:” it’s not all about you”.Been thinking about that a lot lately and just this afternoon, I have come to the grand conclusion that I am a hypocrite or as the Apostle Paul would say “I am the foremost of hypocrites”. Yeah I know he said foremost of sinners, but as I see it at least here, there is little difference. I am a hypocrite to the foremost. I am all the time telling people that it is not all about you, I say; it is about loving God and loving others. But secretly I hold on to the fact that I want it to me all about me, I do what it takes to paint a good picture, but really I am fooling nobody especially myself. Yet I continue to try and convince myself and others that it is not about me. The world that we live in can be a pretty bad place, sometimes it just out right sucks.

I think that instead of coming to that grand conclusion that I spoke of earlier, maybe it would be better said that I have been trying to create a grand illusion. Deep inside of me, I want things to be a certain way, I want people to act a certain way, I want people to say certain things, but want a minute here, I thought this wasn’t supposed to be about me, oh yes getting back to my grand illusion, I want people to love each other and get along with each other. So I talk about those things a lot, hoping against hope that just maybe those things will happen all by theirself, just if I continue to talk about it.

Ultimately, I get pretty disappointed in people, always claiming they believe something then sometimes even the next words out of their mouths contradict what they just said, and most certainly their life and their actions will contradict it.

The truth is I am more disappointed in myself for saying and doing the same things. But then I remember that this is not about me anyway and i just go on my way, living my grand illusion.

We at times get mad at God for the problems in the world, we wonder why he just doesn’t fix it. Then the thought crosses my mind, maybe that’s what he put me here for.

Naw, that can’t be it.

I just need to go on living my grand illusion…

To be continued, hopefully…