As parents we are all hypocrites at times. We have to be. I am sure there has been more than one occasion where all of us have told our kids “Do as I say not as I do.” Those of us who enjoy an occasional cocktail expect our kids to stay away from the dangers of alcohol. Those of us who use profanity expect our kids’ language to remain clean. Those of us who smoke expect our kids to steer clear of the pitfalls of smoking. So, to a certain degree, we are hypocrites with our kids if we are honest with ourselves.
Adults are a different story. When we are hypocrites with each other it only breeds bad feelings. I don’t like hypocrites and I try hard to steer clear of being a hypocrite myself. When I catch myself, and I do catch myself behaving hypocritically, I work to pull myself back, do the right thing and try to fix things. I remember when Stan was still in the Army and we were living in Germany. I was not happy to be living overseas with a toddler, no family and a husband who was gone over half of the time we were there. One day we were shopping at the PX (or Post Exchange which is like a Target/Dillards for our military members.) I took my frustrations out on a lady who, like me, was waiting in line to get help from a store employee. The line was long and disorganized. There was no way to show who was there first but I knew I was toward the front of the line. Finally, the PX employee put out a ticket machine so we could all take a number and be serviced in an organized manner. The lady I talked about above came into the line after I did and took a ticket before I could. My frustration level ratcheted up several notches. Zach was with me and he was getting fussy. All I wanted to do was leave so I snatched the ticket out of the lady’s hand. I felt “entitled” to have the ticket first ~ I was there first. In reality, I hate people who feel any sense of entitlement. My remorse and shame was immediate and with my head hung low I apologized to the lady (and her young son) for my bad behavior and returned the ticket. I truly do not like hypocritical behavior in myself or others.
In Christianity we are coming into one of the most solemn celebrations of forgiveness ~ Easter. Recently I was asked to forgive someone for their bad behavior but was told my bad behavior was not forgiven. Interesting and hypocritical. It has taken every fiber of my being to grant forgiveness in this situation…to be asked to forgive but not forgive in return. I am struggling. Thankfully, it is Easter and I have a good role model to follow in my quest to forgive.
Forgiveness and hypocrites do not go hand in hand but my hope is to always follow the example Jesus set.