Do As I Say, Not As I Do

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HypocritesHave you ever heard that old cliché?

It kinda blows, right?

Hypocrisy to the nth degree, whatever the heck an nth is.

Let’s Talk Hypocrites

hyp·o·crite  /ˈhipəˌkrit/

Courtesy of the Urban Dictionary, a hypocrite is:

  1. A person who engages in the same behaviors she condemns others for.
  2. A person who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them.
  3. A person who holds other people to higher standards than he holds himself.

Back in Jesus’s day, Jesus labeled the Pharasees as hypocrites.

He warned the crowds and His disciples against modeling their behavior, because they would speak of something one way, yet would do just the opposite with their actions.

Matthew 23:3 “Therefore do and observe everything that they tell you, but do not do as they do, for they tell others to do something and do not do it themselves.”

Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you shut the kingdom of heaven before people! For you do not enter, nor permit those wanting to go in to enter.”

Hypocrisy in the World Abounds

Look to your left, look to your right, and you’re sure to lock eyes with at least one hypocrite, maybe even two.

You might even be one yourself.

Some folks are accidental hypocrites, and don’t even realize they’re afflicted.

If that’s you, you’re in good company.

I’m an accidental hypocrite sometimes too. #guiltyascharged

But hey, no one is perfect.

Everyone screws up, everyone make mistakes.

Unfortunately, judging others while leaving yourself out of the “judgment equation” seems to be a natural human inclination.

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

It’s easy to fool ourselves into believing “we” are special, above reproach.

It’s sooo easy to exalt ourselves higher in our minds than we really are.

Honestly I think it’s one of satan’s dirty little tricks; his lame-o attempt to divide and conquer.


If he can make Christians look unattractive to the gen pop… make them appear to be self-righteous hypocrites walking around judging each other instead of loving each other… he’s halfway to winning the war right there!

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Satan Wields Our Sinful Nature like a Weapon

I’ll say it again. It’s sooo easy to sin!

We are fallible. Mere humans.

To judge, to behave self-righteously, to be prideful, to be a hypocrite… those are very easy sins to succumb to at some point in our lives, whether we mean to or not.

But it’s important to remember judgment, self-righteousness, pride, hypocrisy… these things are not of God.

They may be natural human inclinations, but we have to remember God does not live in the natural.

In fact, God is so far above the natural, we can’t even comprehend it.

He is the Holiest of Holies, God of the Most High

Our natural human inclinations are very often products of the enemy, clothed innocuously, wielded with stealth.

Satan is slick and will use whatever weapon he can find to separate you and I from a close and loving relationship with our Father.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall.

The enemy manipulates the free will God blessed us with and uses it to full advantage, coaxing us into making choices that dishonor God and keep us from His favor.

But you have the power to stand up to Satan and thwart his attempts to steal your soul and the blessings the Good Lord has in store for you.

God has given us that power and authority. We only have to ask for His strength and wisdom to do what we can’t do on our own, in the name of Jesus.

If you know that you struggle with insidious sins like hypocrisy, pride, self-righteousness, or judgment of others… it’s OK.

It’s human to struggle.

But knowing is half the battle, and then you can move on to the business of overcoming those sins, with God’s help, with Jesus at your back.

So for me, the first step is thanking Christ for His presence in my life, confessing these sins out loud, and then asking for forgiveness.

The second step is to set my intentions to think, behave, and respond to life in ways that honor God, not dishonor Him.

This is also known as doing something on purpose, instead of without thought.

And the third step is praying and asking for His help in defeating these life-draining behaviors.

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

And remember Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Over to You

Are you an accidental hypocrite? Do you find yourself judging others without realizing you’re doing it? Do you find yourself engaging in self-righteous behaviors, or saying things you shouldn’t because you think you know more or are in some way better than the person standing next to you? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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  1. I”m a hypocrite,, sometimes we all are I think. I stumble big time with some things and I’m right there at home in front of my child with ‘do as I say not as I do’. No matter how hard I try to set a good example for her, sometimes I still stumble, like the DC Talk song, and yes I make a fool out of myself stumbling, but I get back up and try to get on the straight and narrow path again, pray for forgiveness, and explain to my child why what I did was wrong and how I displeased God in doing so. We know how to please God, it’s there in His Word, and I don’t want my child growing up thinking I’m a hypocrite, so I try hard to explain to her when I do stumble, that I know I did wrong, and I’ve prayed for forgiveness, and will try harder next time not to stumble. Oh this flesh that I carry…
    JATomlinson recently posted..Marriage: The Covenant Satan Seeks To DevourMy Profile

    • :) We’re definitely rowing the same boat. Hypocrisy is so easy to fall into. Especially as a parent with children. I think that as you said, getting back up, praying for forgiveness and help in overcoming, explaining things to your child and why your behavior wasn’t aligned with God’s will… all those go a long way in communicating the right messages to our kids. Not taking the time to do that however, means you leave your actions to communicate messages that may not be aligned with what you ultimately want for your kids. It’s a long and narrow road for sure.
      Cori recently posted..Be Kind and Be Generous… Even to the Douche Bags of the PlanetMy Profile

  2. Yeah. i hate hypocrites too. And self-righteous bigots. And homophobes.
    Leslie Trawler recently posted..Jonathan Little SecretsMy Profile

  3. I hate hypocrites. They’re biased and self-righteous.
    Christopher James recently posted..Tao of BadassMy Profile

  4. So true…We all strive to be Christ like and to not judge others. Yet, our framework of reference, the human world in which we live, sometimes keeps us from achieving a higher ground. I am so thankful for God’s grace through forgiveness.

  5. There are so many things wrong with us as Christians and it’s important to spot them. But there is always the danger that we can label one group (e.g. hypocrites) and in doing so let ourselves forget the faults within ourself, in effect making us the hypocrites. The blogpost itself dealt with this problem well, but reading the comments saying simply ‘I hate hypocrites’ is worrying – we should hate hypocrisy, sure, but we have to hate it within ourselves as well, and we should never hate the hypocrite.

  6. Very interesting! Thank you for sharing this, Cori. God bless!

  7. Cori, love this post. We all judge, even though we may be in denial about it (Oh, yeah, remember that river in Egypt?). We all suffer from LDD (Log Deficit Disorder) as we cheerfully point out the multitude of splinters in THOSE people’s eyes.

    Yep, I’m one, even if it’s unintentional. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your continual grace and mercy on this unfinished human.

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