Attack of the 100 Foot Hypocrite


You can’t find a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching Godzilla movies.  At least, that’s how I felt when I was five.  WDRB-41 used to run monster movies on the weekends, and I ate up every second.  How could you not love watching a 17 story fire-breathing lizard enjoy a night on the town?  We’re talking classic cinema here.

King Kong was cool, but c’mon, Godzilla breathed fire.  Fire!  When you’re a five-year-old boy, this is as good it gets.

Unfortunately, as I grew older, I began to notice a peculiar drawback with the Godzilla films.  Everybody talked funny.  Their mouths weren’t moving in sync with their words.  In fact, it looked like they were saying one thing, but I was hearing something altogether different.

Yes, as I grew older, bad dubbing ruined Godzilla for me.  My childhood symbol of unstoppable awesomeness changed to inescapable silliness.  Even as a kid, I learned that’s it’s terribly confusing, ridiculous even, when someone’s words and actions don’t match up.

In a foreign monster movie, it’s silly and fun.  In real life it can be downright frustrating.  People say one thing.  Then they do another.  We call it hypocrisy.  It’s when somone’s words and their actions contradict each other.  When we see it in people we believe in, it leaves us disappointed and cynical.

Jesus had strong words for the hypocrites of His day, the religious leaders who talked a good game but never backed it up with action.  “You must be careful to do everything they tell you,” Jesus said, “But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

Ironically I used this an excuse to stay away from God for a long time.  Everybody knows Christians are a bunch of hypocrites, right?  But the reality is, who’s not?

There are a lot of noble truths I value, but I don’t always have the courage or resolve to live them out.  I say people matter to God, but I don’t always make time for those in need.  I say God’s in control of my future, but I still sometimes obsess and worry as if He’s not.  I say life’s not about me.  Yet, much of my daily thoughts are about securing my own personal happiness.

Can anything stop the radioactive hypocrisy that rampages through our lives?  The love of God can.  He sees our inconsistencies and loves us just the same.  Somehow, this love gives us the power to change.

There is a gap between my words and actions.  Always has been.  And, for as long I’m here on earth, there’s always will be.  But the biggest difference I’ve seen since I started following God is that, by a power far beyond my own, I see the gap shrinking.  Not every day, and not nearly as fast as I’d like, but God is closing the gap.

In that, at least, there’s hope.

Image: ‘Gojira!‘

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