Many times hypocrisy and Christianity are synonymous. People don’t want to become Christians because they think we are all just big hypocrites.
But I think a distinction needs to be made here. There are people who call themselves Christian. They go to church, they may read the Bible and pray, but they don’t have a relationship with Christ.
Then there are those who call themselves Christians, and they live the life of a Christian. They have a personal relationship with Christ.
You may be wondering, “How do you tell the difference?” Well…many times you don’t. It’s a heart issue. Only God knows our hearts, and knows whether we have a relationship with Him. But there are some ways to differentiate the two.
Jesus says “If you love me, you will obey my teaching” and “anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching” (John 14:23,24). Galatians 5:22 says that the “fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.” In James 1:22 we are told “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.” Then James chapter 2 gives an entire discussion on having faith without deeds.
So someone who truly has a relationship with Christ will exhibit these qualities. That doesn’t mean that even the most devoted follower won’t make mistakes, but their life should be noticeably different than those who don’t have the relationship.
Jesus warned us that there would be those who pretended to be Christians. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Even Judas looked like a Christian, until he betrayed Christ. (You can read my blog post about that here.)
This isn’t a blog about how to become a believer, and I’m not saying that works get you to heaven. That would be a whole other topic. But once you become a Christian, and truly have a relationship with Christ, it should be evident in your life.
So yes, many “Christians” are hypocrites. But there needs to be a distinction between a self-professing Christian, and a follower of Christ.