So I am a few steps from my ash service, feeling the flush of a new chance to be better in observance of the religious season and this guy walks past me on the street and says “hypocrite”.
I turn to return the favor when i notice he seems to be saying it consistently as he walks through the ash faced exiting Catholics.
That made me feel better, but then I got to thinking. Too many “Christians” don’t strike a good talk/walk balance. Too many see religion as what separates us and what is absolute and put the actions that the faith truly promoted on the back burner.
How do you justify defending God while insulting the person you are talking to. Can’t try see how hypocritical that is even as a tiny thing? The bigger hypocrisy is thinking being religious means telling others that what you believe is the only truth. That goes beyond proselytizing – which is supposed to he about showing your faith as opposed to just lording it over others and condemning them for believing otherwise.
The main hypocrisy is when people of dairy, especially Christians, willfully ignore the profound humility of their savior, and how he lived and why he said what he said. Jesus was love. Everything he said and did was to that end. Love.
That’s what the pope is pushing time and again: don’t worry about what is wrong; do what is right. And the most important part of being Christian is NOT telling others you are right and they are wrong. Live your faith with your actions and not just your mouth.
You know the psalm: love is kind, merciful, etc.
The President created controversy by comparing the scourge of Islamist terrorists with those who commit crimes in the name of Christianity. That we don’t call them Christian terrorists so why call ISIS Islamic. Putting aside the obvious that they are acting in pursuit of what they call Islam and we are in a period where there is no real point of comparison (the Crusades were long ago and are instructive of how region can be a mantle for hate but not for a double standard today) and the threat today is clearly not from Christian terrorists (and no mcveigh doesn’t count, he was an admitted agnostic who was not acting under color of religion regardless of where he spent time).
But there is a point of comparison that can be made: when you tell people you are right and they are wrong when it comes to God and you use anger as your means of dispute, you are on the same path as the deranged theocratic killers. They are on an entirely different level but the comparison highlights that it is the same seed of intolerance. It brings only negativity.
So, I am all about trying to do more and say less – at least for 40 days. You will know what I hold dear but what I show, how I act, not what I say about my faith.
That’s what Jesus did. That’s why we revere his deeds, his ultimate sacrifice as love in action. Words are cheap.