In my last post I noted that folk who claimed to be followers of Jesus were expressing opinions that were anathema to his teachings. The word hypocrisy came to mind and was raised by others.

But even as I posted I was troubled by the accusation inherent in what I’d written.

Hypocrisy: “behaviour in which somebody pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have.” (Oxford)

And there is the problem. You see in my experience (and I have talked with literally thousands of folks) the large majority of us do hold the very best of morals that we truly do believe in.

It is in the living of these morals that we so regularly fail because frankly it is bloody hard to live true to ones ethics. From the big stuff to the little stuff, it seems to walk ones talk is the greatest challenge presented to us in this world.

To decide to eschew physical and emotional violence toward our fellow human can mean suffering at the hands of those troubled within and unable to respond similarly.

 To refuse to work in an unethical manner can mean suffering financial hardship in a world where money dictates basic health let alone plain old fun.

What we have to give up in order to live true to what we believe ranges from the annoying to the absolutely devastating.

I have seen folk all my life living at odds to the best they could be and suffering deeply because of it. Some admit it, most don’t. Indeed most of us develop an amazing ability to delude ourselves so successfully that eventually we no longer see the disconnect between our morals and our actual actions.

So as we interact with those that claim one thing but act differently let’s have compassion. Let’s understand that we all fail in little ways; that we all stand within houses of glass.

And whilst we may think we are truer to our ethics than some around us remember that with our support they may do better next time. But with our condemnation they surely won’t.


12 thoughts on “hypocrisy

  1. ‘It is in the living of these morals that we so regularly fail .’ YES.

    In you’re argument you make it complex and I see it as basic. To be on the receiving end of cruelty by those who espouse ‘morality’ is disgusting and cruel.

    • Romy I have too many times been on the recieving end of such behaviour ever since I was a child and thus understand the pain inherent in your words. There are moments when, if I allow it, bitterness at such unfairness can overwhelm me.

      But that is not the person I want to be and hence I try to understand why certain behaviours occur.

  2. “To refuse to work in an unethical manner can mean suffering financial hardship in a world where money dictates basic health let alone plain old fun.” – yep it is hard, but what matters is to stick by our ideals. I know how hard it can be: employment-wise…

    “with our support they may do better next time.” – Amen sistah! 😀

    • My choices to follow my ethics rather than ‘security’ have put me in an absolute mess financially which also effects my son and right at this very moment this mess is threatening to overwhelm. Yet to do otherwise is to sacrifice and live at odds to the person I am and that, in my assessment is the true cause of mental/emotional illness.

      Thanks for your comments. love em 🙂

  3. I think this quote reflects what you are trying to say here:

    “Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. Samuel Johnson made this point when he wrote about the misuse of the charge of “hypocrisy” in Rambler No. 14:

    Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself.[1]”

    We have decisions in life…and it nice to believe that we will live up to our best desires. But, as you point out, we can fail to do so. It is not that we don’t want to…we just fail. Hopefully, though, we will keep trying. 🙂

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