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Church members are often accused of not living up to their
Profession of Faith. It is a valid and true charge. I don't
consistently live up to what I preach. I suspect you don't
consistently live up to what I preach either. This sobering
and discouraging truth almost drove me to despair until I
read, in God's Word, the Apostle Paul's admission of the same
thing. In the third chapter of Philippians, he had been
writig of knowing Christ, in all of His power, attaining in
him the strength of Christ which even overcame death.
Then, as though the thought occurred to him he might be mis-
understood, he said in verse twelve: "Now I haven't gotten
there. I am not perfect, but being found full of Him is my
goal. It's my all. It's what I strain for." (3:12-14)
Yes, when we Christians are called "hypocritical" by others
there's always enough truth in that charge to hurt.
But we are not near so hypocritical as some who call us
hypocrites. The most inconsistent and harmful people in our
society are those hypocrites who pretend they don't need God.
They hide their miserable condition under well polished, yet
thin, workridden veneers of pseudosophistication. They des-
perately feed the hunger in their heart with the world's
poisonous junk foods of lust, luxury, liquor, or the like.
In their dying condition they deny the God of Life and deride
those who are earnestly seeking Him. When on rare occasions
they admit weakness, they are heard saying things like: "At
least I don't go to church pretending to be something I am
not." Never follow anyone who sums up life in terms of "at
least." To tally life's score in terms of lack is to admit
failure without facing up to it.
It is much better to be the struggling Christian who falls
in the world's filth yet keeps coming back than the poor
creature trying to convince himself that dirt is clean and
moral failure is success. It is far bet ...
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