Those of us who pay attention to words find them in a pretty constant state of change. Meanings, spellings and usage evolve.

Some words come on the scene for a period of time and then leave. They are identified with a particular setting or era. Right on! Groovy.

The “language of Zion” refers to that unique terminology used inside a certain sociological subgroup — churches of various brands. Much of it is Bible-based wording.

However, there is one word that seems to have survived time and settings: hypocrisy. You hear it in the religious and secular realm (particularly in politics) — and have for a long,long time.

A hypocrite, by definition, is someone who pretends to be something they are not. Or one who acts differently than they profess to believe.

Hypocrisy is a false portrayal of oneself. The Greek rendering comes from that of an actor on stage portraying a vastly different character from himself or herself.

Preachers — for generations — have harped on hypocrisy. And it is the most common charge against the church by those looking for justification to stay away.

“They are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites!” we’ve all heard repeatedly for a long, long time.

Perhaps it would be more constructive if we do not fight the charge. We are hypocrites — or at least I’m willing to speak for myself.

I claim to put my trust in God but find myself fearing the same things (a failing economy, international instability, dangers, etc.) as everyone else.

Intellectually, I embrace ideals that my actions have not completely caught up with yet.

I believe Jesus calls us to a life of risk and sacrifice, yet I play it safe and pay way too much attention to my own needs and desires.

The list goes on. But the greatest act of hypocrisy may be the suggestion that we are not hypocrites.

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