CHRISTIAN HYPOCRISY provides Christians one rather different way in which they can assess their own level of hypocrisy. There are probably very few of us with lily-white hands.
This week from Coward's Castle, something different. An exercise for you to do before the Lord in your daily quiet time before the Lord.
The first, most of us can do without too much trouble.
The second is a little harder. If one dared, one might ask a few people to write down for us how they see us, and see how well it matches. I think we might be in for a few shocks!
And the last? Well now, that's really hard. It takes spiritual enlightenment to do that, and it's something we should perhaps regularly do before our Lord.
After all, He had the strongest condemnation for those in whom 1 and 3 do not even vaguely match. "By their fruits you shall know them."
There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.
Michel de Montaigne
We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.
Something that always astonishes me is how Christians find fault with playing bridge, for example, but chess is fine. Football is great, but dancing is straight from the devil. Fishing on the sabbath is definitely out, but a long stressful day of church activities, certainly no day of rest, is just fine.
One could go on. Beer is terrible but colas are no problem. The odd clandestine affair is okay, but a faithful homosexual relationship is the height of sin. Drunkenness is shocking, but gluttony and obesity are just fine.
St Paul teaches that the body is the temple of Holy Spirit. I say amen to that. Whether we eat or drink, are celibate or enjoy sex, how we treat the sabbath, may everything be as unto the Lord.
Most folk just love the way Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde love to poke fun at all and sundry, and mostly their barbs hit the nail on the head.
Why on earth is he poking fun at good people? Stuffy religious people. At first glance I rejected his wry comment, obviously I'm far too stuffy!, until I saw the real meaning behind it: If I think I am good, then I am the only good person on the planet. Of course I'll be lonesome. For all have sinned, and fallen short; me too, alas. You? A sinner in need of a saviour? Or too good to be true? Hypocrisy Christians flaunt the truth of the sinful of all humans, believer and unbeliever alike.
Any good people out there?
"Be good and you will be lonesome."
Mark Twain, 1835-1910
"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."
Now to put my oar in, very conscious of my own sins and weakness. After all these years of treating the ailments that beset us, I have to conclude that obesity and gluttony are two of the great sins. Why is that? It's because being severely overweight is a campaign of pain against yourself.
It's even more true if you call yourself a Christian; because your body is not your own. You have been bought with a price and you now belong to the Lord. Obesity is a sin against the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells.
Gluttony is only one cause of obesity; if you eat too much, and exercise too little you will become obese.
More usually, however, we become obese not because we eat too much; it's because we eat the wrong foods. And that's because we doctors don't take the time to educate our patients; and because we don't want to offend you. It's easier to look the other way.
So doctors would rather prescribe blood pressure medication rather than suggest ways in which you could lose weight. And statins to lower your cholesterol rather than talk about the foods that lower cholesterol naturally; like oats, garbanzo beans, apples and salads.
And write out a prescription for medication to lower your blood sugar, rather than point out the foods that are causing your type two diabetes.
If you are serious about dealing with this weight issue, forget about all the fad diets; all of them. Instead start reading instead and find out about the term glycemic index; it's a measure of how quickly a particular carbohydrate that you've just eaten will raise your blood glucose and whether it will cause an insulin rush; that's the fat hormone.
Raised blood sugar is extremely bad for blood vessels so the body immediately turns it to adipose tissue. That's why undisciplined diabetics go blind, lose a lower limb, have heart attacks and strokes.
Okay, so I'm blaming doctors for the fact you are obese; that's not entirely true is it. We humans are stubbornly difficult when it comes to changing our ways. Has your doctor confronted you once or twice and he's now given up on you, not wanting to lose a patient?
My first suggestion is to find out about glycemic index; and the second is to go and spend time with granny and gramps and see what they eat. As one great cardiac surgeon remarked after noticing that blood vessels are becoming redder and redder despite margarine and statins, go back to what your grandparents ate, not what your parents taught you.
Obesity is a sin against your own body; it will cause you much pain and cut short your life. Start avoiding foods with a high glycemic index and you're two thirds of the way to getting those pounds off. Of course it won't be easy; but it's interesting that it takes only three weeks to re-educate your tongue. The alternative is too ghastly to contemplate; a life of pain and disability.
One of the great joys of my life is well over thirty years under the belt as a chiropractor. Folk have asked if I have returned to my native South Africa to retire. Impossible! I have had, and continue to have such pleasure from treating the multitude of conditions from which we humans suffer.
Imagine only yesterday the pleasure at hearing from a young mother that after only two treatments, her colicky 8 week old baby has gone from five hours a day of hollering to only one. Do you know the rule of three, Mum?
Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.
William James, psychologist and philosopher
Or from an 82 year old woman that the pain in the front of her thigh from a spondylolysthesis in her back has completely gone.
Retire? Impossible! This is the best of my many hobbies. How could I possibly stop? But the arthritic hip of an old friend is going to be a challenge. The neurosurgeon said he needed a back op, but the twit didn't examine my friend's hip!
Hypocritical? Christian hypocrisy? Judgemental? Nope, we're all twits periodically in the medical game, and with hindsight I have hung my head periodically too. How could I possibly not have considered that the weakness in a patients quadriceps muscle could have been caused by diabetes? I forgot the all important question: can you get it up? Do you know what Chiropractic Iatrogenic Illness is? I've caused my own share!
Hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue.
Francois duc de La Rochefoucauld, (1613-1680)
This above all:
To thine own self be true, for it must follow as dost the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.