For some time now, I’ve been wondering what would happen if people dared to be honest. See, I like to think I’m honest, but I doubt I am. I see relatively clearly, and I tend to say it as I see it, but if my innate dishonesty hobbles my capacity for objective sight, what’s the point?
I think I’m a hypocrite…most days, anyway. Can any other label be as fitting when I face a world I have no desire to even be in? When God’s name flows so easily in conversation, but there seems to be no place for Him in my heart? When I tell myself this will pass, because it has passed before? The fact is, each step of this tortuous dance is familiar, yet I will not end it. Because I’m a hypocrite.
There is much to be said for the comfort of a cyclic existence, even with the overhanging knowledge that there is an end, and a rather unpleasant one at that. Knowing better awaits us outside of our self-constructed prisons rarely serves as motivation to break free. If you’re me, motivation does not make a habit of presenting itself. I’d rather tell myself I need to change than actually take steps in that direction. Because I’m a hypocrite.
Enthralled witness to my own demise, the question of an exit strategy arises. As much as I possess an intellectual hold on grace, I’m not very good at facing it. Grace exposes the liar in me. It tells me I will fail, but empowers me not to. It reveals my intrinsic unlovableness, yet lavishes upon me a love so independent and ferocious, I instinctively flee from it. I refuse to take hold of the redemption I so readily remind others of. Because I’m a hypocrite.
Perhaps it is the admission of hypocrisy that leads to its end.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
– “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” (George Matheson, 1882)