Posted by deirdrehbrt on February 28, 2006, at 21:13:43
Just though I would throw out another topic for discussion.
I know the second word may be a trigger word, but I'm not using it in an accusative manner, so bear with me.
First, I think that each of us shows some elements of both at times. We are all human, and none of us can act perfectly always. That's why we're not Gods and Goddesses. We're on a road and learning. I know I've demonstrated the former all too little, and the latter more than I would have liked.
What brought this up though was the memory of a sermon that I heard once, which with I felt a strong disagreement. This particular pastor was giving a sermon about integrity. His definition of integrity was in part, "If you don't believe something yet, act as if you do, and sooner or later you will". It was "Acting on the outside, what you WANT the inside to feel or believe".
My definition of integrity is to not pretend you are what you are not. If you believe truly, that honesty and love and compassion are virtues to be demonstrated and cultivated, then you should demonstrate and cultivate these virtues.
Integrity involves being complete and virtuous, but not with pretense. It involves being true to oneself, as much as being true to those about you.
In matters of faith, it would seem to me that if you are professing a certain faith, then you should act or behave in a manner that brings glory or honor to the deity (ies) of that faith. Where hypocrisy comes in, in my mind, is when someone claims adherence to a faith, and either doesn't really believe what that faith teaches (he's there only for fear of damnation rather than belief in the God, scriptures, etc.) or he's using that faith to show he's (or she's) better than other people.
I think that Christ preached a good deal about the latter. I think too, that He was one of, and perhaps the best example of true integrity in recorded history. Having preached forgiveness, He demonstrated it ultimately on the cross when He forgave those who crucified Him.
One of the writers of my faith wrote recently about humility. He said "True humility is recognizing both our strengths and our weakneses, and striving to cultivate the former and to transform the latter". I think that's what I want to do with integrity and hypocrisy. I recognize that I do have both in varying quantities, I hope I'm able to maximize the former and minimize the latter.
Just a thought for discussion.