A common definition of hypocrisy is the practice of criticizing others for the very thing you do yourself. People don’t realize it but judging another person for an act that you also do blocks your prayers to God from being answered in that area. Because pointing out the sin that belongs to another that we also do is forbidden by Jesus (see Luke 6:42). But there is hope when we renew our minds.
Often the reason we point out the sin is because it makes us angry at ourselves which in turn hardens our hearts even more. We really want the sin stronghold in our lives to disappear. And we think that criticizing ourselves and others will help convince God to help us change. But God is clear, “Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (see James 1:20) What’s more is that we can’t love those we angrily judge, and that means they will not feel loved by us so long as we continue this.
Renew: Stop Judging
However, if we can healthily repent from our mean judgments, and seek to look out for bridges. Those bridges are common truths and goodness in both parties. It’s then we help people come to know Jesus Christ. And we relate healthily and wisely with people and they feel loved.
God has made us in His image. That means we have the natural loves He planted within us at the moment of our conceptions. These natural loves should not necessarily be judged as self-righteous barriers to supernatural love. True, natural loves can be used self-righteously as excuses to reject Jesus, but not always. The natural loves are meant as a preparation for the supernatural love granted to us as we repent in faith and follow Jesus as Lord and Saviour. This is not a one-time thing. We need to renew our commitment daily to following Jesus and continue to learn how to repent so we transform to health spiritually (which is practical by nature) by the renewing of our minds gradually over time.
Renewing our minds means we renew our attitudes, not just putting our theological ducks in a row. Old, mean, self-righteous, and foolish judgments are behind the sour attitudes. And Jesus wants to help us dismantle them. Because they prevent us from loving people. We have to go deeper if we want to love the people in our lives. And only then will sustainable revival come. When people feel loved and not put on guilt trips they listen to our messages. This requires humility. Humility means we love even when it hurts.
We often have to earn the right to share Jesus in our relationships. People see when we care for the weak, disadvantaged and poor. And they see that we listen (and don’t just preach), are thoughtful, and care in a kind and compassionate way. Then there is a greater chance that they will warm up to the Gospel and eventually be saved.
For ways to destroy bad attitudes see my book called: Dismantling the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil Within So Love Can Thrive.