A prominent businessman in our town makes a big show of being an active Christian, but over the years many people in the community have learned not to trust him. Does the Bible say anything about people like this?


I’m always saddened whenever I hear of someone who claims to follow Jesus but has a bad reputation because of the way they live. It’s not limited to those in business, of course; anyone can bring shame to the name of Christ by their moral or ethical failures.

Some of Jesus’ strongest words were directed at those who claimed to believe in God and follow His law, and yet denied Him by the way they lived. On the surface, they may have appeared good and righteous, but in their hearts they were selfish and unconcerned about others, and it showed in their actions. Jesus condemned them for their hypocrisy, and warned us not to be like them. He said, “You hypocrites!… You have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23).

Don’t let this one person’s failures keep you from Christ, and don’t use someone’s apparent hypocrisy as an excuse to turn your back on Him. Christ alone is worthy of our commitment, and He alone can change our hearts and make us into the people He wants us to be. God’s will is for us to be “pure and blameless… filled with the fruit of righteousness” (Philippians 1:10-11).

Make it your goal, therefore, with God’s help, to become a consistent and compassionate follower of Jesus. Then pray for this man, that God will convict him of his sin and bring him into a wholehearted and consistent relationship with Christ. This is God’s goal for him, and for you, as well.

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