Christians are often labeled hypocrites. Oftentimes the label is warranted. I wish this were not true; I especially wish it were not true in my own life.
And so I keep running back to Jesus. He forgives my discrepancies and encourages me to keep on, even in the face of failure.
Sometimes I wish there was a Get Holy Quick button that I could push so that my hypocrisies would no longer tarnish the name of Christ. Instead, God gives grace for every failing, which makes no sense to those on Hypocrite Watch. It hardly makes sense to me.
With each failure, I learn something deeper about God’s mercy. I experience something richer about the forgiveness of Christ. Without these failings, what need would I have of a Savior? Coming to Jesus doesn’t eradicate my need: It makes me more aware of it.
Yesterday my pastor preached from Ephesians 4:17–24, in which Paul is speaking to the believers at the church in Ephesus. He compares those who don’t know God to those who do. Those who don’t know God are excluded from His life, causing dim understanding in spiritual matters and a heart that is hard against God. Then Paul says to the believers: “But you did not learn Christ in this way” (v. 20).
Believers have learned Christ in a way that is different. Knowing Him, learning Him, leads to a desire to put off the old ways of life that exclude us from God and cause a hardened heart.
Believers learn Jesus is Life and the one who gives us new hearts that desire Him above all else.
Believers also learn that knowing Jesus is relational; it’s progressive. It’s inch by inch, knowing more and more that Jesus is everything He’s promised.
I don’t know Jesus perfectly. But I am learning Him.