They Can't Live It
They Can't Live It
Many who have never entered the Lord's service explain their hesitancy with the words, "I'm afraid I just can't live it." We usually try to quell their fears, but the truth is they can't live it, for their concept of what it is they are trying to live is a completely false concept.
Consider the man whose wife became a Christian. He was sure she couldn't "live it." He watched her carefully, and sure enough, one day under considerable stress, she lost control, yelled at the children, and said some things a Christian ought not to say. "If she were a Christian," the man thought, "she wouldn't talk like that; I knew she couldn't live it." On another day the preacher came around, and in reaction to something someone said, he turned a bit red, although he otherwise controlled his temper. But the man saw that tinge of redness, and immediately concluded, "That preacher can't live it either." He eventually observed faults in other Christians, and finally concluded that none of them could "live it," that the whole church was a bunch of hypocrites. Of course he never even tried, for he knew his weaknesses all too well. He knew he couldn't "live it."
Poor man! He thinks that the Christian life is a life of perfection; that all "Christians" fall into one of two categories: either they are perfect or they are hypocrites. He knows he can't live up to perfection, to the standards he has set for others, and is thinking with an almost self-righteous attitude, "One thing about it, Preacher, I'm not going to be a hypocrite."
But there is pardon for the sincere Christian's imperfections. "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). And that Christian who sincerely strives to live for the Lord, and daily seeks His forgiveness, though he should have a thousand weaknesses, is no hypocrite. There are hypocrites in the church, and we offer no defense in their behalf. But weaknesses do not necessarily imply hypocrisy.