I was recently looking at a cartoon which depicted two cleaning ladies together with heir mops and buckets. It seemed that they were cleaners for the BBC and were reading a staff notice board. One was making a comment on the salaries of the company executives to the effect that they were way overpaid which had caused many problems for the company. What made me laugh aloud was the fact that the two ladies were dressed up to the nines in ball gowns, tiaras and bling. Hypocrisy or what!?
Talking of hypocrites reminds me of the old joke that does the rounds. A vicar was talking to a man and asking why he never attended church any more to which the man replied that the church was full of hypocrites. The vicar responds with, “well, never mind there is always room for another”.
When I laughed at the cartoon I thought immediately of what Jesus says in Matt 7: 3 – 5:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?’ You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I will own up to having made a remark on a matter only to check myself and admit that there are times when I have done something similar. Though it may be a small matter, there is still a degree of hypocrisy involved. I would have difficulty in believing that there is anyone, save Christ himself, who has never said or acted hypocritically. One glaring example springs to mind, among many in the public arena, is the viciousness of the media attacks on Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles before their marriage regarding their conduct. It is not necessary to condone it to be aware that there were an awful lot of people ‘throwing stones in glasshouses’. They were doing exactly the same in their own private lives, or worse, but it was one rule for them and another for these public figures. I have often wondered what the media angle might have been if Princess Diana had been rather plain with a much lower profile, especially if it were Camilla with the obvious charisma. I guess we all know the answer to that.
So, what can you see? Do you see lots of people around and know that they are people that God created who need a Saviour, or you do see people beyond help? I once heard a group of down-and-outs described as ‘low-life’. We need to try and see everyone as God sees them perhaps that would energise our mission efforts and our giving in terms of both time and money.