One of the biggest arguments against Christianity I hear is that we are hypocrites.
We preach love but walk in hate. We claim Jesus is light but make decisions that continue to slowly, or quickly, dim that bright illumination until we settle into our own darkness.
I can’t argue that I have royally screwed up. There have been times in my life I have been a horrible representation of Christianity and Jesus. And I know I am not alone.
The Bible is chock full of imperfect followers of Jesus who at times, really, really messed up.
Person after person, King after King, although devoted to Jesus, turned from Him and made decisions with horrible consequences out of selfish gain.
As Christians, we do mess up and we aren’t perfect but we cannot use these lines and these truths as an excuse to act however we want and not expect the world to notice.
Jesus wants more than that from us and the world needs more than that from us.
If we claim to be Christians, we have to understand the responsibility that comes along with that name.
The world doesn’t need our perfection, but they need to see transformation, so when we do mess up, we own it, move forward and lean on Jesus to do better.
Embarrassingly, I have never read the Bible all the way through, so at the beginning of the year, I decided to change that. I was ashamed that I wrote and spoke of this belief I have and amazing God I have, but had never finished the book that was the basis of this faith.
I wouldn’t want to listen to someone teach about a surgery they had never even completed themselves.
So, I am little more than halfway through the Bible in a year. Recently, I finished up the Chronicles, which are the last in their historical category.
For most of 1 Chronicles in the Old Testament, it was a list of descendants of names that I couldn’t even pronounce. For someone with the attention span of a nectarine, this was very tough for me to get through:
After awhile, it seriously could have said:
Azariah son of Guacamole
Son of Sushi Roll
Son of Teriyaki.
And I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
Sometimes I just have had to trudge through it. Discover the bigger lessons.
Like last night.
Max and I have been reading the Bible aloud before bed. This has been a really special time for us that has sparked some good conversation and further study.
Anyhoo, we are reading Luke right now and once in awhile something seems to JUMP off the page and hit me in the gut. This happened last night as we were in Chapter 12, focused on hypocrisy.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”
Luke 12: 2-3.
I stopped him and began to write this down. The words “Inner Rooms” struck me.
Our inner rooms are the areas of our lives almost no one knows…yet. What we do and what we think when no one knows and no one is watching.
Eventually our inner rooms start taking up more and more space in our hearts until they start to rent real estate outside and suddenly, not so suddenly, the world will begin to take notice.
Inner rooms are like the dark staff room after school has been out for awhile. There is leftover cake in the fridge from the day’s celebration, and you grab a fork and go to town. No one sees you, no one knows. (Clearly NOT speaking from experience).
My inner rooms are my thought life, how I spend my free time and the inbox of my phone. The group text messages. When it’s just Max and me and I feel like I have a pass to say what I want about anyone because he is my husband and it’s fine.
These things matter. My thought life, how much time I devote to Jesus, the messages in my inbox between friends, my side comments to my husband…they matter.
Because the inner rooms of my heart is who I am.
Of course hypocrisy is accused and noticed by the world when we make mistakes in huge ways : affairs, scandals, slander, etc, and truthfully, these huge blowouts usually occur after a lot of time spent hidden in our inner rooms.
So if I want to start giving Christians a better name, it has to start in the inner rooms.
The Bible says that the things we whisper in the “inner rooms” will be proclaimed from the rooftops.
Would I be comfortable with my inner room words being broadcasted? My inner room thoughts? At this point, probably not. But that is the awesome thing about Jesus; He has no intention of leaving us like this.
There have been a lot of Christian leaders who have messed up big, but I guarantee those epic mess ups started in the inner rooms.
I am quick to say, “Well I would never do that..” when I hear of someone who has fallen in a huge way, but then when I take a look at my inner rooms, maybe I’m not so far off.
Battling our label as hypocrites to this world starts in the quiet inner rooms. The text messages between close friends, the side comments to our husbands, and the choices we make when no one is watching.
I am ready to go to war on my inner rooms- to allow Jesus to transform them and brighten them up so I would openly welcome anyone to come explore.
I’ll never, ever be a perfect representative of Jesus, but by tidying up and focusing on my inner rooms, I know I can be a better one.