“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings …” 2 Timothy 3:10
I heard a minister speak on this verse just a few weeks after I became a Christian (almost 40 years ago!). His words had a big impact on me. The minister asked the question, do we have people in our lives who know all about our way of life?
Do we even want to have people around us, who know all about our teaching, our purpose, our faith, our patience, our love, our endurance, and our difficulties? God has placed us in church communities in order that we will build close relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Then our faith won’t be just words but evident in our lifestyle.
God doesn’t want hypocrites. This is the reason Jesus was critical of the Pharisees. The word “hypocrite” comes from a Greek word which contains the idea of wearing a mask. God wants us so secure in our relationship with him that we don’t need to wear a mask. Mostly we use the word “hypocrite” for people who try to make themselves look better than they are. In its truest sense, though, hypocrites are people who present themselves differently to their true self. Consequently, we can also pretend to be less competent than we are in order to evoke sympathy, and this is no less hypocritical than pretending to be more competent than we are.
It’s a challenge, yet a blessing, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with those Christians who know us best. To let them get to know us so well that they indeed know all about our faith, our patience, our love, and our difficulties.