The recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg had me reflecting on my personal experiences of gender inequality. She was a pioneer for women, and yet I’m reminded there is still work to be done. Today, I see it show up so often as hypocrisy.
I was working as a youth minister while pregnant with our first child. I was hired by this church because they wanted to their priority to be families. It was my job to create a youth ministry that was attractive to families.
The church didn’t have a family leave policy in place, so I was invited to meet with the board and share my ideal plan. I asked for 6 unpaid weeks plus 4 weeks of accrued vacation for a total of 10 weeks leave. The members of the board smiled and nodded. They stated that seemed reasonable. They dismissed me and said they would get back to me with the final decision.
A few weeks later the pastor asked to meet with youth advisory committee and myself. He announced at the meeting that I could take a maximum of 6 weeks leave and had to use my vacation for the first 4 weeks. I responded with, “I quit.” The parents in that meeting understood the hypocrisy, and supported my decision.
Scripture has a lot to say to hypocrites including this:
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:23-24 NIV).
But, the scripture that is ringing in my ears as I think about hypocrisy is this:
4 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? 5 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. (Matthew 7:4-5 NIV).
The real issue isn’t me pointing out other’s hypocrisy. The real issue is me looking for my own. The hypocrisy around us is endless. Pointing it out, complaining about it is all meaningless when there is a plank in my eye. I can hear a teenager in my house saying, “Don’t be a hypocrite,” in a very snarky voice to remind me that I have my own work to do.
As a follower of Jesus, this is critical work for me to do. My voice has to line up with my character and the character of Christ or it is void. It is not about perfection, but it is about intentionality. Each day, I need to be aware of how my words line up with the character of Christ. This will go along way in changing my own hypocrisy.
How about you? Are you looking at the log in your own eye? Are you more focused on others? How is hypocrisy playing out in your life? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.