Monday, September 05, 2005

my hypocrisy

I was told a friend of mine who is a recovering heroin addict was dumped by his girlfriend because friends of hers suggested that he was a dangerous choice for relationship. They convinced her that his past may come back up, and that addiction often resurfaces. She shouldn't get involved with someone like that.

Now the truth of that story I have found out may have been exagerated a bit. But I thought I might talk about my reactions. My first reaction was one of anger. We as Christian are called to not only be forgiving people, but also by our very nature should understand the miracle of redemption. How could these shallow, unloving, unforgiving people call themselves Christians.

Then I thought about my own daughters. Would I be concerned if they were dating a former heroin addict. Well, too be honest I would. Now this particular person I would not be very concerned about, but the whole idea made me nervous. How would I feel if my daughters were getting involved with someone who had considered themselves gay in their past? Or someone who was a womanizer? Or someone who had beaten their former spouse before they became a believer? I would not like it.

I want to believe I can get past my own fatherly protective instincts and live what I believe. It is easy to point the fingers at others, but we want to prevent those that we love from possible harm. The fact is I find it much easier to call others to live a loving, forgiving attitude embracing redempion, while remaining judgemental, scared and protective of my own. This is unworthy of a follower of Christ.

Hi my name is John, and I am a hypocrite.

and everyone says "Hi John"

the rev

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rev - someone you know but posting anonymously for obvious reasons...;)

Is it hypocrisy, or is it just recognising the living out our ideals isn't always...clear cut?

I used to be in love with someone who swore drugs were no longer a problem in their life. I talked about marriage with this person. I trusted them 100% and whenever any doubt crept in, I stuck around because of my beliefs about grace, redemption etc etc.

We ultimately called it off because I couldn't live with his continual struggle with drugs and he couldn't live with my fear. The depression that followed nearly cost me my life.

A couple of years later and that person's clean. Every day I ask myself how grace fits in - if I had been more gracious would the relationship have survived? If I had not been so keen to forgive, would I have survived better? I dunno - all that I do know is that my ideas about grace, redemption and forgiveness made a complex situation a hell of a lot more complicated.

alanhirsch said...

Hello John...

Matt Glover said...

Same thing here Rev...

I'm dealing with a guy who slapped somebody else's kid in church the other day, trying to bring about some sort of resolution. However, if he had slapped my kid, I'd rip his bloody arms off then tell him to go and direct traffic on the freeway...

Rapists and paedophiles are the ones that I struggle with the most though. Why? Because I'm married and have kids. Lay a finger on them and ... well who knows?

I like to think I'm tolerant and forgiving and gracious and all that, but every so often I'm reminded of how broken the world is, how hurting people are, and how I contribute to keeping this mess a mess. God forgive me.

Troy said...

I think you're being a bit harsh on yourself John, but I'm glad you are. Hypocrisy is a sin we can all easily slip into. The parable in Luke illustrates living with hypocrisy - where the Pharisee thanks God he is not like the sinful tax collector as the tax collector asks for forgiveness for being a sinner. As soon as we say we're like the tax collector, aware of our failings and not the arrogant pharisee, we become the pharisee. Its a slippery slide we live as followers of Christ.

Anonymous said...

My friend in Highschool dated a girl addicted to heroin. He tried to change her, but ended up getting hooked himself. He overdosed and died. I miss his laughter.

The Rev said...

I would not advise going out with a current heroin addict, that is a different kettle of fish wouldn't you agree?

the rev

Anonymous said...

I think that dating someone who's a present addict is different.

However - at one extreme there's hypocrisy, at the other there's naivety or even stupidity. Finding a healthy balance can be tough.

It's not "hypocritical" to recognise that we're all broken, and that while our journey through life might include a 'closing up' of the cracks, those cracks remain vulnerable to re-opening. If one of my friends was dating someone who had struggled with drug addiction in the past, I'd want them to acknowledge that while that person might now be clean, they have certain vulnerabilities that someone without a history with drugs might not. If that friend can't acknowledge that or deal with that, then the relationship isn't going to survive when the other person is struggling with their addiction again - as they most probably will in some way or another (even if it is just the temptation to go back to drugs to cope with tough times).

This isn't really any different to me wanting my boyfriend to be able to cope with the fact that I can get depressed - while I must take responsibility for my moods and try and deal with them appropriately, he also has to acknowledge that it's a struggle for me, and that he could get hurt in some way because of it. If he can't acknowledge that, then the relationship isn't going to survive if/when I do get depressed.

That's not hypocrisy - it's just acknowledging that we all have different vulnerabilities, and that we should care for each other with that in mind.

david said...

a different perspective ~ i shot 'hillbilly heroin' (and many other drugs) for years before i became a follower of Christ . . . i was not merely a recreational user i was an addict . . .

i understand many of the comments being made . . . however, it has always been a genuine source of comfort (and healing) to me when paul attempted his repentence he too was initially rejected . . . (trust for most of us is earned over time) . . . that is why i deeply thank God for the people in my life who acted like barnabas . . . people of encouragement . . . people who deeply believed in the life changing touch of Christ on the vile and unlovely . . . like me.

Kitty Cheng said...

hi john, admire your honesty examination of yourself.

Jon Owen said...

I have daughters and I would kick any guys arse if they touched my daughters, just for being alive and looking twice!

No regrets!