Hypocrites: a pretender, liar, or deceiver. Strong words. Stronger yet are the emotions we feel when confronted with them. What should we do? How should we respond to people who are found to be frauds?
At the writing of this article, I just finished reading about the immediate resignation of Ole Miss football coach, Hugh Freeze. Hugh was the coach there for the past 6 years and was someone who, apparently, was deeply devoted to the Lord. I followed him on Twitter and was always impressed with the Scripture verses he’d post and the things that he would say. By all accounts, he seemed to be a Christian man on a mission to mold the hearts and minds of young men and not just win football games. I loved what I saw and heard from him from a distance.
But as you can probably guess, Hugh has, apparently, lost his way.
At the same time, he lost His way, too.
Hypocrites Among Us
What Hugh did was expose one of the world’s biggest arguments against Christianity and followers of Jesus:
“They’re all hypocrites! Why would I want to be a part of something like that!?”
To be honest with you, it’s a great question.
It hurts my heart and my head to read the news and to see the story of Hugh’s exposed life. I hurt for his wife and kids. I hurt for his parents and friends and family and the young men who looked up to him and admired him and his faith.
But I am mostly hurt for what it does to Jesus’ dream for the world and His plan to use people like us – and Hugh – to show people who God is.
But do you know what else it does in me? It causes me to pause and consider:
How did it come to this?
I don’t know Hugh Freeze. (I’m sure his wife and many others are saying the same thing right now.) But I don’t think that he intended to end up here. I am guessing, but my guess is that he’s probably a well-intentioned, solid man who truly wanted to make a difference through football. But something happened along the way and he lost that very thing – His way.
I don’t think that Hugh Freeze is all that different from you and me. The fact remains that most of us simply haven’t been exposed like he was. If we’re honest, Hugh is just one of the millions of hypocrites among us. I am one of them too.
The tendency for me and most of us hearing these awful stories is to hear them and then wonder with self-righteousness how a guy like Hugh could give up all that he has and has worked for. How could he do such a thing!?
As much as I also have thought similar things, I know that for me, the most striking thing it does is this:
It’s a call to repent for my OWN sin. It’s a chance for me to wake up to my own hypocritical nature and my not-yet-exposed sins before I condemn Hugh or anyone else.
That’s why this quote is so important to remember in light of this conversation:You are only ONE decision away from a totally different life! Click To Tweet
We all are hypocrites. Not one of us is innocent. But what may save us from being exposed like Hugh is that we still have time to learn from his downfall. We need to see the consequences that can come by failing to admit the truth about what we’re hiding and who we are pretending to be and humble ourselves while we still have the chance.
If that is you today, I beg you: Ask for help before you throw it all away.
If you are a Christian, it’s not just your name on the line.