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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ingrained Hypocrisy

How do you avoid hypocrisy in your life? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, pp 1404-5).

At the outset to avoid an insufferable degree of hypocrisy, I must immediately revise the above question to: How do you seek to minimize hypocrisy in your life? Of course the question that confronts me is the basic problem of eliminating from consideration those areas of restraint due to common courtesy. Though I am most assured my ass stinks most of the time, I do not feel constrained to constantly introduce this up as a subject for consideration—this is neither a prepossessing visual nor odoriferous bouquet that I need verbally elicit within the neurological senses of my associates—mainly based on the Golden Rule. It is an invasion of privacy—not of mine, but theirs.

But this gracious loophole in truth-telling brings with it many problems. If we are willing to cover up truth in one area, where exactly does the rectitude of such a practice become instead abject hypocrisy? There is no end to the rationalizations that I can produce on the instant in the name of not offending others. This can open a veritable floodgate of outright prevarication, phoniness, and hypocrisy aimed not at saving others from hurt, but myself. To put it another way, I always seem to have the sniffles so it is a continual area of anxiety to determine if I have a mild allergy or a serious cold—if I am being merely polite or grossly dishonest.

Let me give an example of this twilight zone. Frequently timing matters. Say, I want to take the afternoon off from work—it is uppermost in my mind to ask my boss to get off. But I cloak my desire first thing in the morning when I see my boss is preoccupied in some important matter. “Now is not the time to broach the question,” I tell myself. I will pretend that I intend to work all day and will pop the question of getting off at a more opportune moment. Thus, I become a designing hypocrite while cloaking it all in a reliable rationale of timing.

Hypocrisy and manipulation are frequent companions. And the devil allows me ample rope to hang myself for certainly I am just being considerate of my boss, not Iago-like manipulating him. An inordinate drive of self-righteousness is aided and abetted by thoroughgoing self-interest. Only God's grace can redeem me from heaping upon myself self-congratulatory kudos for my skills in being wisely politic and remarkably judicious in human affairs when in fact I'm just being a self-serving hypocrite.

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