Love and Hypocrisy

At I found this nugget of wisdom:

Hypocrisy is grime that covers the purity and transparency of love. The one thing in life that should be absolutely and consistently pure is love. It is the one thing that the human heart longs for, and yet it is also the thing that is just as consistently covered up by old dust.

The dust of needing to be important ourselves rather than liberally giving love away to others. The old dust of needing to have people conform to our standards before we grant them love; the old dust of wanting reciprocity before we share love; the old dust of memories that keep us from loving with trust; the old dust of pretending to love as a social grace while holding ourselves far from the radical requirements of pure love.

The Signposts for May are written by Renée Miller, author of Daily Vitamins for the Soul, which can be purchased at These Signposts were originally published on explorefaith in 2003.


11 thoughts on “Love and Hypocrisy

  1. tobeme,
    Yes, it’s very profound and would take eons to contemplate. I’m hoping I don’t just gloss over it like I’m prone to do and really meditate on it. How do you stay so focused with your messages on your web site?

  2. Thank you for sharing this–it was lovely (no pun intended). Today must be the celebration of love for me, since it’s been a recurring theme. I just wrote a recommendation for a friend whom I love dearly and felt all warm and fuzzy inside, and this reminder of the beauty of love acted as a perfect capstone. Maybe I’ll share this with him.

  3. Hypocrisy is an interesting thing, in that we are all hypocrits in our own way. Part of it is not wanting others to see our dark side, or even see it ourselves and part of it is not wanting to see the dark side of others lest it waken our own dark side. Some people may not even realize they are hypocrits.

    I read once that the thing we hate most in others is the very thing we hate in ourselves.

  4. Robin,
    You wrote: “I read once that the thing we hate most in others is the very thing we hate in ourselves.

    I think that’s probably closer to the truth for all of us than we realize. I include myself in the hypocrite list, believe me. I definitely act one way and believe another, either for approval of my peers or because I don’t have the “balls” to stand up for what is obviously right. Hmmm.

  5. Hey I am living as a hypocrite right now.
    I am agnostic, living in a family full of fundamentalists on both sides, and a community of them, among a region of the country full of them.

    Do I tell them the truth about my newfound agnosticism?

    HECK NO!

    Do you think I am crazy?

    OK, don’t answer that.

  6. Yes, that is what she was talking about, and no I would not do that. I am however living as if I am one of the converted when I am not. It just sort of jumped up at me when thinking of what a hypocrite is and the many manifestations it can take.

    One is done to simply make yourself look good to others and puff yourself up, when you really don’t believe it. Mine is simple self preservation.

  7. Noogatiger,

    I’ve begun to think that if you want all the trappings of church fellowship one HAS to be a hypocrite in beliefs. If you can live that way, that is, without driving yourself crazy or having a slip of the tongue during Sunday school when discussing certain topics. 🙂

    Doing it like a Pharisee however, to make yourself look pious and important, is what I believe you and the author are talking about. Yes, that’s a no-no.

  8. Noot – I don’t think there is anything wrong with simply being silent. I don’t think you are being hypocritical unless you actively lie about what you believe or unless you want others to do that which you do not do yourself. I think in your case silence is probably the better part of valor. Challenging the people around you will only cause dissention, and unless people are requiring you to actively lie to keep the peace it probably would not do much good. For instance, if you are asked to say grace before a meal, and you do it that would be hypocritical feeling as you do, but it would not be hypocritical to demur and pass it off to someone else, and just bow your head in silence.

    MOI, I agree… the times I have tried to fellowship in the church situation I find myself always at emnity, because I can’t keep my mouth shut when I disagree. Not in a bad way, all confrontational, etc, but still people in an established fellowsip aren’t looking to be challenged, they are looking for confirmation of what they already believe. It makes them uncomfortable and me unpopular.

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