When did hypocrisy become the greatest of all vices?
I obviously overstate but to look at the news is to see joyous revelry at revelations of hypocrisy – Larry Craig, Al Gore’s flying around in private jets, John Edwards driving an SUV and on and on.
True, Jesus wasn’t into hypocrites – particularly religious ones. And no one likes hypocrites – though in some form we are all hypocritical about something or another. Choosing the nearest example I can find, for instance, me. I am full of hypocrisy. I talk about the importance of walking with Jesus and yet my walk is so often a backwards crawl. I talk about the poor but could give more. I talk about love and yet can get really, really ticked off. You get the point.
To focus only on the hypocrisy, however, is to miss something bigger – it is to miss our chance to set higher goals or to strive for higher things or to try and live with the better angels of our nature.
No, we shouldn’t honor hypocrisy. It is certainly not a good thing. But to become fixated with hypocrisy is to miss deeper and bigger matters.