True Hypocrisy

I judge Christians who are very openly… Christian.

You know, the ones who say Praise the Lord and Hallelujah a lot. The ones who close their eyes and raise their hands when they sing, like they really mean it and feel it. The ones who pray for at least an hour a day, and read at least a chapter of the Bible. The ones who make it a point to say grace before meals with their children.

I assume that they are like me, and it was/is all for show. That deep down, they feel nothing of that sort, but because that is the “right thing” to be seen to be doing, they do it. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

Some of them have been keeping up this facade for decades. As part of the show, they not only do these Christiany things, they also are: faithful to their spouses, hold down and work hard in their jobs, raise their kids appropriately, avoid indulging in vices, do volunteer work and give generously to charity.

Some of them even (shudder) Share the Gospel with people they come into contact with.

And they keep this up till the day they die of old age.

I shake my head in judgement at such people and look down upon them for not having the integrity to admit they don’t feel what they do.

Unlike myself. I know I’m not perfect but at least I’m honest. And because I refuse to do what they do, because I know it would be insincere, I just carry on as I am, messing things up, indulging in vices, and generally being very unpleasant to everyone around me.

But at least I’m being open and honest about my faults.

Unlike those hypocrites who refuse to admit it’s all a sham, and proceed to live their entire lives like actual saints. Even when they die, it’s with a peaceful smile on their faces, as though they carry on the act even beyond the grave.

Of course, there might be another, far simpler, explanation to all this, and I hope it is blinding obvious to any reader of this blog.

In AA, there are slogans such as “Act as if” and “fake it till you make it”.

Not a call to hypocrisy or putting up a show, of course, but rather to Do First and figure it out later. Taking Action, they call it, rather than Thinking About Why It’s Not Going to Work, and that I Don’t Feel it in My Heart.

It seems to have merit. Many addicts got started on the path to Recovery by showing up at an appropriate meeting. I don’t think there was a single one (myself included) who turned up Rejoicing in the Lord, skipping in with a song and clap. For most of us, it was Do or Die. Only under the greatest of duress, external pressure, force of circumstances, sheer desperation that drove us to the rooms.

But showing up was an Action. A concrete “thing” that we “did”. Not an idea in our mind that we thought. And with Action comes Results, apparently.

If someone takes correctly prescribed medication, he gets the benefits thereof. No matter if he believes it’s going to work, what his attitude to the treatment is, or even if he’s got the right idea about his own condition.

Yes, ideally, he has full understanding, is wholly on board, motivated and positive, which helps enhance recovery, improves compliance in the long term.

But in the short term, if I pop the pill, I pop the pill. I “act as if” I believe this is going to help. I “fake” my belief in the treatment by actually taking it. But in doing so, the medicine does have an effect, and I do get better.

It’s not hypocrisy after all then, but a grudging submission to… well… something other than myself at least, who knows better. And why not?

Maybe those Christians with such disciplined lives are on to something after all…

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