First Church of the Hypocrite


Sunday morning grumbling had become a bad habit Jack didn’t feel like breaking. He was on his way to church again. Instead of referring to it as the Hyerdale Family Church, he called it the “Hypocrite Family Church.”

Each week it was the same old thing. Talk of being a family, loving God, serving each other … blah, blah, blah. It was all fake. They were all phony. He knew fake and phony, he’d been a successful salesman for the past twenty years. “They” would shake Jack’s hand but once he turned his back he could feel the daggers. His mind raced a thousand miles an hour and didn’t notice the stop sign he ran just as his blood pressure spiked.

He was done. “Those people” were as loving and kind as a pack of wolves on a rabbit. He was going to find a church where people really loved each other.

Jack parked his car, picked up his Bible, and put on his “happy face” as he slammed the car door. In the car parked next to him, Jack noticed a familiar face. The man’s head was in his hands and faint sobs could be heard through the window. Jack stood a moment, then gently tapped on the window so as to not startle the man.

“I was on my way into church and noticed that you don’t look so well. Is there anything I can do?” Jack asked, his “happy face” still firmly plastered in place.

The man took a few minutes describing his financial situation. It was bad. Bad enough he’d soon lose his house with the wife he’d already lost. He’d been sleeping in his car the past few days and didn’t know what to do next.

As the man spoke, Jack unconsciously rubbed his hand against his right rear pocket where he kept his wallet.

When the man stopped talking, Jack explained that God loved him … and he did too. He’d pray for the man and asked if he was going into church. The man looked at his watch, apologized for taking Jack’s time, and said he needed to go find something to eat. Jack shook his hand and said he’d see him next week.

It’s not enough to say you love a brother when you can do something to show it.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:16-18).


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