Perhaps the major takeaway from the hypocrisy research is that threats to our integrity can promote personal growth and encourage us to align with our authentic selves.
The Good Side Of Hypocrisy
The above article talks about hypocrisy and how people confronted with their own hypocrisy and lack of integrity can actually take steps toward improvement.
Despite what some madpersons may say, we’re all morally imperfect and on that score I know I can be hypocritical. I see it in myself whenever I judge someone for something I myself did as a youth or have been doing in some similar, subtler, or lesser form in adulthood. It’s so easy to fall into that trap. But I am older, wiser, and know better. Therefore I should lead them to the light… the hypocrite thinks.
Yeah yeah yeah.
What a load of hokum.
We should love people, not judge them.
God can do that perfectly well. And I do mean perfectly well.
But hey, isn’t there a problem with this lovey-dovey stuff?
I mean, if someone breaks into my home and tries to steal my property, do I just stand there and tell them to take it or do I yell and try to get them to back off?
Or if another person is about to drop an A-bomb on an entire city, do we just love them or do we try to stop them?
I think most people would say we should try to stop them.
In Christianity, we have this saying, “Love the sinner not the sin.”
It’s a great saying but it too can lead to hypocrisy and ‘holier than thou’ attitudes.
Ever since I converted to Catholicism I have at times become high and mighty because I, indeed, did discover a lovely spirituality that I never knew existed before. For me, it’s the best. Simple as that. So of course I would want to share that with other people, even if I feel they are mired in the dark.
But hold it.
Catholic spirituality may be the best for me. But what about others?
See the complexity of the thing?
Luckily, I have this inner dynamic that corrects me whenever I get too high and mighty. Sometimes it’s just my own conscience. Other times rational thinking brings me back in line. And sometimes it’s a practical or spiritual issue that is relieved by my interacting with non-Catholics.
Often it is all of the above.
We’re each like houses of mirrors or maybe kaleidoscopes. Your color blue may tame my excess in red. Meanwhile, my orange may help to lighten up your brown. And it’s always changing, never fixed.
The trick is to stay open to this interpersonal dynamic and to avoid rigidity. For me, the only way I should remain steadfast is in trying to understand and enact God’s will. And that’s a lifelong procedure and one point where I personally will not back down.