I’ve heard people (who should know better) dismiss Christians as hypocrites. I know that some are, as are all of us at one time or another. But there’s a wrong assumption in all of this. Of course the Church contains hypocrites. The Scriptures remind us that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.“
None of us is perfect. And each one of us who profess Jesus as our Savior have done so by first admitting our sinfulness and asking the Lord for forgiveness. In my church there is a prayer of confession each Sunday that we read aloud together. All. Christians still sun and need forgiveness.
A problem is that each one of us, at some time, acts as if we’re better than others because we are Christians. In such cases we need a reminder that only God is perfect, and that we are forever grateful that God continues to forgive when we repent. One of the last things we should do is to imply that we’re better people than those who don’t believe or go to Church.
Christians can and should do is exhibit a humility befitting a forgiven people. Acting as if we’re better than our neighbors will surely sour them on Christianity and the Church. Jesus made a point of spending time with people His society had rejected as morally inferior. Whatever goodness we can exhibit is a gift from God.
But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner. Luke 18:13