What is it about Christians? The Bible calls them the salt of the earth and lights of the world, but also refers to them as peculiar people. Christians are called to be witnesses for Jesus and lead exemplary lives, and yet these same Christians are the very reason why some people scoff at the notion of going to a church filled with a bunch of hypocrites. Honestly, wasn’t that your reaction the last time a big-name tele-evangelist was suddenly exposed as being in the middle of an immoral relationship or illegal financial deal? Another hypocrite! How is this so? It starts with the believer and his application of Scripture. The Bible is full of high standards of conduct and the Christian begins taking them in and applying them into his life, simultaneously exhorting others to do the same. Too often however, he finds himself failing to live up to the standards he preaches. Paul, in Romans 7, explains about the war that goes on in the inner person; the spirit wants to forgive but the flesh wants to nurture a grudge; the spirit says fast but the flesh craves food; the spirit says turn the other cheek, but the flesh grabs hold with retaliating words or actions. So what’s the problem with Christians? Are the standards too high? Is the spirit too weak? No, the answer is sanctification; a learning and cleaning up process that can take many years. One may find justification at conversion, but sanctifying oneself is a continual process as one studies the Scripture and seeks after the spirit. If you have ever met a person who has sought after God with all their heart for 20 or 30 years and listen to him speak, undoubtedly you will hear him say, Oh, I’ve made mistakes or Before I knew better…. A Christian that is striving for a higher level of spirituality will slip, will feel reproach, and will be likely labeled hypocrite. The Christian that cries out to God for forgiveness, picks himself up, and applies the lesson learned is the Christian that will ultimately reach his spiritual goals, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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