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I was watching Dr. Strange again and in there Kaecilius calls the Ancient One a hypocrite and it got me thinking, “what is a hypocrite, exactly?”

Webster’s says that a hypocrite is “a person who indulges in hypocrisy.” Ya. That’s super helpful. I jumped to hypocrisy and learned it is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.”

Okay. But then that would mean that everybody engages in hypocrisy to some extent. I know I should be obedient to God’s commandments, but I’m not. So, then does that make me a hypocrite?

Maybe, but I don’t think so, and here is why: Intent and motivation.

In one instance the hypocrite is motivated by control, looking good to others and possibly other external factors. They are all show.

In the other, a person is sincere, acknowledges they are weak, need help and they are motivated by a desire to improve and do better. They are humble and understand they need to bring themselves closer to their ideals.

I think this is a major reason we are told not to judge others. We don’t know a person’s inner motivations. They could very well be trying as best they can and may still be failing to meet their expectations and ideals. Our job is not to judge but to reach out and help them as best we can. Love them and help them on their journey, just as we need help in our personal journey.

The image is “17/365 ThePointer” by Gabe Austin. You can find it on flickr.