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.
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.