When You Feel Like a Hypocrite

“You’re such a hypocrite!” – I can still feel the ring of those words echoing in my mind and the sting behind them piercing my heart.  Were these words spoken by an ill-willed person?  An enemy? Or perhaps by a close friend or family member whom I had hurt?  No not at all.  Once upon a time, those words were the all-too familiar sound of the lies inside my own mind…lies that I had embraced as my own voice…lies I had believed were absolute truths.

All throughout my teen years, that lie would convince me that I was nothing more than a failure every single time that I fell short of the standard that I felt I claimed to live by.  It kept me stuck in a place of wanting to be so much more, but feeling like I couldn’t because what if I failed…it was always two steps forward, one step back.

Fast forward into my adult years as a wife, and mom to three young children.  By this time I had learned a thing or two about that lying voice and in some areas of my life I was able to recognize it for what it was.  But to some degree that voice had somehow found a way to sneak back into my thoughts whenever I would lose my cool with my kids, or selfishly put my own needs before my husband’s.

It was right there waiting for me to mess up…waiting to whisper…”I told you so”….”you’re nothing more than a hypocrite…just look at how you behaved”.

I wanted so badly for nothing more than to be the kind of mom that my kids were happy to be around; the kind of mom that could be that stability for them when their emotions were running amuck; the kind of mom that acted rather than reacted in the heat of the moment; the kind of wife that believed the best in her husband, that made him feel loved and valued.

But it seemed that no matter how hard I tried…I would find myself in the rhythm of that same old dance from my high school days…two steps forward, one step back.

Did I continue to learn new tactics and approaches in my parenting?  Absolutely.  Did I continue growing as an individual; learning how to be quick to own my actions, apologize, and move on?  Definitely.  Was I learning how to accept and love myself, and walk in grace?  Slowly, yes.  However I was still slipping up, still feeling frustrated, and still feeling like a failure for the better part of my time.  I was making progress…but something major still had to change…the recording that was on repeat in my mind had to be replaced.

Now this change didn’t happen overnight, and to be honest, it’s still a work in progress…but the difference now is that I’m learning to reprogram that voice with a new one…one that assures me that a set-back is not a failure…one that reminds me that I may have made a mistake, but I am not a mistake…one that reminds me that I will become what I behold…that I have been given the nature of Christ when I simply received His forgiveness so because of that His nature becomes expressed more and more as I refocus from my problems to His ability.

I’m learning that there is no such thing as a perfect parent or wife and there is no end-date for such a destination to be achieved.

You see, when we allow ourselves to believe that we must be a perfect … {fill-in-the-blank} by a certain time we set a limit on what we can and will do with the abilities that we have been given.  For me, I had allowed that belief to stop me from reaching out and allowing my life to be used to affect those around me….I thought that I had to have things nailed down before I could help another or share encouragement from what I had learned or experienced.  It kept me from opening up to others, and from using my gifts to speak out and do what I loved to do because it convinced me that when I messed up, I would be nothing more than a hypocrite.

And that is exactly how that lie keeps you stuck in a place of frustration and defeat.  You’re passionate about something; you want to make a difference; you want your life to mean something….but then you hear “what if I screw up?”…”I need to wait until I have this figured out”….and so you stop moving forward…you stop the process…and eventually you quit.

Friend, I want to tell you that progress means taking that first step…even though you’re still figuring it out…even though it’s still messy…even though sometimes you may say one thing but then eat your very own words…progress means you keep moving forward.  The end-date is your lifetime.  It’s okay if you are still taking two steps forward and one step back…but just keep going forward.

Progress means taking that first step, even though you're still figuring it out. Click To Tweet

There’s days when I still think…”seriously, how can you write about this when you just did the opposite thing?!”  But friends, I’m learning, and I’m not about to let the one time I failed, or maybe the 20 times I failed convince me that the other 50 times I succeeded didn’t happen.

Maybe you’re feeling that way today.  Maybe you can relate….maybe you realize that you’ve had your life on hold, waiting to attain a perfect-status that is never going to come.  There’s good news for you if that’s the case; you can move forward today with what you do know and are capable of; you don’t have to wait a minute longer because every single day has fresh grace available and a fresh chance to start anew – you don’t have to wait for a New Year, or a new you.

Every single day has fresh grace available and a fresh chance to start anew. Click To Tweet

Your world is waiting, so don’t waste another moment, or another lesson waiting for perfection.  Move forward and use every lesson, every set-back as an opportunity to affect another.

Because for every time you share your one victory, you multiply that victory into countless lives…and that far outweighs any amount of setback you may face.  And that my friend, is not hypocrisy.  That is progress.

You may also like

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to share them here.