“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

-Matthew 23:23, NIV

Healing from Religious Hypocrites

A major learning curve for many of us is to accept some people are fine with professing one set of values and living by another. This obvious dissonance does not bother them.

Living such dissonance would “kill” us, faithful spouses, and that is why we assume the same for others.

Getting to a place where we accept this about others is not easy. This is doubly so when that person acted otherwise for years prior to the big dissonance reveal. Some people are just not troubled–or not troubled enough–by living contrary to their professed morals.

How do we heal from religious hypocrites? How do we detach from their hypocritical ways?

I have two points to address this important question.

First, stop fighting the hypocrite over narrative agreement.

It is not going to happen.

They are invested in being right and not facing the mess their behavior or words have created. Save yourself further grief from them.

Stop fighting them and accept they have lost sensitivity to righteousness.

Second, recognize that the profession of Christian faith is not the same thing as having saving faith in Christ (see Matthe 7:21-23).

Saying we believe something and acting contrary to that belief is unacceptable to God (e.g. Hebrews 10:26-27). Breaking the Ten Commandments is contrary to a life honoring God and is a declaration of continued hostilities towards God.

I state this point NOT to encourage you to tell them that they are truly an unbeliever.

The point is to recognize this is a real possibility considering their actions. Understanding this will help us in letting go of the expectation that they live up to their professed Christian values.

They behave as an unbeliever because that is what they truly are. Behavior reveals what they actually believe.

In summary, I would recommend working to stop battling the cheater and their apologists over the marriage narrative.

Next, I would encourage embracing biblical teachings on what it means to be a follower of Christ and let go of expectations that professing Christians will live like Christians when their actions say otherwise.

*A version of this post ran previously.