Bear Grylls was my hero. Was. I don’t know if you ever watched the T.V. show Man vs. Wild but it was one of my favorites. Bear Grylls, a British adventurer, would lead the audience into a remote wilderness and would show you how to survive if you were ever stuck in those conditions. The claim was that he would survive for several days in that environment just like a lost hiker might be forced to do. He would build a shelter, eat weird things and claimed, at times, to survive with only a small amount of water. He was my hero.
A few years into the show, reports began to leak that the show’s claims weren’t exactly legitimate. Though the show was set up as if he were out there alone, he actually had a whole crew with him. On top of that, there were even reports that Bear would often stay in hotels after the cameras shut off. It broke my heart. Bear Grylls was pretending to be something he wasn’t.
I don’t know why that bothered me so much. All of television is made up of individuals pretending to be something they’re not. They’re called actors. Unfortunately, the religious world can also be filled with these same individuals. We don’t call them actors though. They’re called hypocrites.
One of the greatest problems that can turn people away from the church is hypocrisy. Even the most genuine truth seekers can see the hypocrisy in the lives of many and are turned off by Christianity as a whole. It’s unfortunate that the actions of some can cause many to see the Lord’s church as hypocritical. That’s what can happen though.
Apparently, hypocrisy has been a problem within the church for a long time. In James 1:22-25 we read the following: “22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James told the Christians that he was writing to that it wasn’t enough to just be hearers of the Word. We need to be those that practice those things. We need to be those who DO. Those who know God’s Word yet don’t make the changes in their life are compared to a person looking into the mirror. The person’s hair is disheveled, there’s stuff stuck in their teeth and their clothes are a mess. The person knows this but turns away from the mirror and forgets all about those things.
When you stand in front of the mirror that is God’s Word, what do you see? Do you see a person that needs to make some changes? Do you see a person that needs to stop hearing only and start doing? If so, it’s time to deal with those things. Don’t just turn away and forget about what you’ve seen. It’s easy to go to church on Sunday, read the Bible on occasion and claim to be religious. But are we really living out God’s Word in our lives? If not, we’re pretending to be something that we’re not. We’ve become like the people on television who just act a part. Don’t just play a Christian on Sundays. Make it your life.