Jesus Was Not a Hypocrite

by Mark Gungor

Have you noticed that people are extremely caught up in their feelings in today’s culture…even our Christian culture? They think they have to be honest with their feelings. They live by the belief that they have to live by their emotions and verbally vomit their feelings on those around them.  So often they say that they cannot or will not act in any way, shape or form that is contrary to what they feel. For example, if I don’t “feel” in love with my spouse, I can’t possibly stay in my marriage because I’m not being true to what I feel. If I stayed married to a woman that I didn’t have feelings of love for, I would be a hypocrite.

Or how about his one, I can’t act in loving and kind ways toward my spouse because I don’t feel full of loving-kindness. Maybe I feel nothing, or perhaps I feel anger or resentment.  I can’t possibly act like I want to be with her, or tell her I love her if I don’t feel love.  That, too, would make me a hypocrite.  Way too many people think that they must feel the emotions in order for it to be love. They say that without the feelings, it’s not love. Well, I’ve got news for you…based on this kind of stupid thinking and what people say, Jesus didn’t love us and he was a hypocrite.

Hang on to your horses and don’t have a cow…let me explain.  Love is not an emotion—it’s an action.  Your feelings may or may not line up with the actions you put forth.  In fact, when it comes to real, biblical love, warm, fuzzy, lovey dovey emotions may not exist, but your actions can still show love. If you believe you must have the feelings in order to love, you are flat out wrong.  Jesus proved it when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane heading toward his crucifixion.

Jesus basically prayed, “Father, if there is any other way…” In other words he didn’t want to do it!  He didn’t feel like it and he actually prayed to get out of it when he asked God to, “…let this cup pass.” But driven by love, not his feelings, Jesus put love into action and gave his life for us. Take note though, he wasn’t filled with overwhelming mushy, squishy feelings of love! Jesus did not pray, “Thank you, Father, for this great opportunity!  I truly look forward to this!  I’m totally excited about this and really feel like getting brutally beaten and crucified!”

On the contrary, he didn’t feel like it, didn’t want to do it and was praying to get out of it. But he laid aside his feelings and said, “…not my will, but yours be done”. Driven by love, void of any good feelings (How good can you feel being whipped, beat, crucified?), and as evidenced by the sacrifice…he acted in love.

Are you getting the picture? What you feel isn’t a valid measure of love. If it was true indicator, then—according to most people’s definition of love, the definition that says you have to feel the right things or it’s not love—Jesus didn’t love us.  Of course that is patently absurd! Jesus demonstrated the greatest love imaginable— and he did it all minus the emotions we associate with love.  We have a record of his prayer and Jesus didn’t feel it! He didn’t want to do it, but he did it anyway. At a great personal cost, laying down his very life for love.

It was a feat that none of us will ever come close to in our lives or marriages. We will never be asked to give that kind of sacrifice for the person we are betrothed to. Yet, we whine, complain and act like it’s going to kill us if we have to exercise basic politeness or common courtesy to our spouse when we don’t feel overwhelmed with the rapt desire of emotional love. When we have to be agreeable or helpful or heaven forbid meet the sexual needs of the other person, or give selflessly to the one we stood before God and pledged to love and cherish, we often refuse to on the grounds that we don’t feel like it.

To all of you who think you have to feel the emotions of love or you can’t act in loving ways, to all you people that believe you have to follow and live by your feelings or you are a hypocrite…I say shut up with that nonsense!  I don’t care what you feel.  What you feel doesn’t matter! So many people want to “feel” in love all the time and if they don’t, they bail on their marriages. Too often the commitment to act in love isn’t enough for them.

Well, to my way of thinking, the presence or absence of feelings means nothing. It meant nothing to Jesus. He didn’t rely on having the right feelings in order to do the right thing. It didn’t make him a hypocrite either! If it was good enough for Jesus and if it’s the example he set for us, then it should be the kind of love that we, as Christians are willing to demonstrate at our jobs, with our neighbors, in our families—and especially in our marriages.

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    10 Responses to “Jesus Was Not a Hypocrite”

    1. Rhonda wrote:

      Thank you Mark….for continuing to minister to me. You see, one evening I was sitting alone and crying. My beloved, perfect, handsome, loving, totally devoted husband, friend and soul mate had suddenly been killed. Much of that period of my life I don’t even remember. But I do remember this night flipping channels on television never stopping at anything, just flipping. I did strangely stop at a channel with your teaching Laugh Your Way…Having just buried my beloved Laugh Your Way was not exactly what I needed. But yet, in some extremely weird way it was. And I ordered the DVD. ???? I don’t know. But I would watch it and think of my Bob and think of instances of “so THAT’S what you were thinking or THAT’S where that came from!!” And even “I’m sorry Babe…I should have thought that through.” To say I didn’t want to live anymore is an understatement. I just wanted to go to heaven with Bob. The minister at his funeral said “I have buried many people in my 40 years of ministry and I have never been more positive of anyone in my life as I am Bob on where he is right now!” So for a year or so my life shut down, shades pulled down, phone off, maybe going to the store in the wee hours so not to have to see anybody I knew. I just wanted Bob!! Loooong story short, My Pastor, who was in the top 5 of Bob’s best friends, continued to attempt to check on me and coax me back to church. I tried to go but just saw Bob sitting in our usual Baptist don’t move around spot. I could see him clear as day sitting there reading his Bible. But Pastor continued to check on me and being one of Bob’s closest friends I trusted him. When, after better than a year or so he asked me to marry him. I told him if he wanted to marry me and Bob’s memories I would. I know, not good, but that was the deal. I told his church right away, jokingly/seriously, I am not a great preacher’s wife. I haven’t had 40 years exp. at it,though I may not condone I tolerate a lot. Like people smoking or living together not married. I don’t raise an eye brow and sniff at them. I just love ‘em and pray. On the up side I’m a pretty fair cook so my casserole dish stands ready for duty. It’s been 4 years, Mark. I am still not a great pastors wife, my casserole dish stays in the oven but they love me and we have the sweetest Spirit in such a small country church. No, my “feelings” superceded nothing. I can relate to every word you wrote in this article. God’s duty called and with Him and many wise words and teachings from you I am among the living. Joyful? Probably not, truely. But Jim and I have a very sweet life. God is great, and sometimes slow and gentle in His ways. I’ve always wanted to thank you for your role in my recovery, we’ll call it, but doubted you would ever see a letter from me among all the people that love you. But Thank you. You greatly helped in some closure after losing Bob. Reflecting back on our life and just what that boy was up to or thinking or why. It made me laugh and cry and know that it wasn’t just me being partial he truely was an amazing man. Thank you for things I can’t even put into words. God Bless you & your lovely wife and ministry. Rhonda (and by the way we use your DVD’s alot in our ministry….that’s about the best I have done at being a preachers wife, well, my spaghetti casserole is up there)

    2. Jack Haveman wrote:

      Thanks for your great insight, Mark!

    3. Tina wrote:

      Thank you for this article. I’m not married yet and i don’t know if i’m near to that but i sure do know that this is really a help. I do also have a thinking of this love, emotion stuff but thanks for reminding me that marriage is also a step of faith.
      I remember what my Pastor told us that marriage is like buying a lot. It may be soil on top but beneath it are the creatures that you don’t like but it’s a package so you should accept it anyway.
      on that lot will rise a skyscraper or just a house but it started by accepting.

      Thanks again.

    4. Dale wrote:

      I totally understand what you’re saying, but my concern is about the abuse piece. I know people who have stayed in a relationship (void of their feelings), because of the covenant that they made, and they were getting hit! I think a clear distinction should be made about that, because I don’t think Jesus would want someone to stay in a situation like that. Also, I know of someone getting verbally abused and put down on a regular basis by their spouse. They’ve been through a number of counselors, mostly Christian, and things haven’t changed and the other person doesn’t want to change and feels they aren’t doing anything wrong. Are you saying that they should stay and just take it for the rest of their life? It’s starting to affect the health of the abused party and there’s no relief in sight. Surely you don’t think they should stay in this?

      • Stephanie wrote:

        Dale, there is nowhere in the Bible that gives abuse as an “okay” reason for divorce. The only acceptable reason for divorce, according to Jesus, is adultery. That being said, no one expects a person in an abusive marriage relationship to stay in the home and just take it. You can move out and force the issue to be dealt with without seeking a divorce. There is healing from abuse and marriages can move past this to be good solid relationships.

    5. Rudy I. Otero wrote:

      No doubt about it, love isn’t an emotion. Our emotions can take us on a roller Coaster ride to hell and back. Love is expressed by a converted child of God, by his’/her’s obedience to God. God says, “Listen to me and obey me and I’ll bless you.” And, “If you don’t listen to me, and disobey me you are cursed.That’s not good! We are blessed when we love God and our fellow man. We are blessed when we love our wives. We are blessed and in God’s will for us when we don’t provoke our Children to wrath. Children obey your parents, honor them, respect them, and don’t play silly head games with them, Why? There’s a promise of long life for you. We can pray all we want and tell God how much we love Him, but if we don’t obey God and strive to please God through faith and appropriate works that stem from our belief and trust in God, it means nothing to God. To obey God is better than prayers, sacrifices, if what we say and do are not backed up by our obdience to God. Commit to obedience like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did and is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Listen to God and Obey Him and He’ll keep you close to Himself. And if we disobey out of weakness or provocation, or stupidity, we distance ourselves from God and his blessings. God keeps sinners at arms lenght and he knows who we are. We can’t afford to continue to play mind games, brothers, sisters with our Creator, Sustainer and Lifegiver. When we sin, we can go to God and through repentance receive forgiveness.Jesus Christ, our Messiah, gave up His atoning blood to redeem us, that we might be forgiven, that we might be healed, that we might be made righteous with His righteousness, that we might receive His life, that we might share His abundant riches, that we might share His glory, that we might have His acceptance with the Father, tha we might enter in the blessings of God and not the curses. Thank you Mark, I appreciated what you wrote it was on the mark. Thank you Father for Mark Gungor! Grace him with you love and forgivenes Dear Father. In Jesus name, Amen! Thank you for giving us God’s wonderful truth with incisive humor that penetrates those strongholds we create, like our pride, our prejudices, and our preconceptions.

    6. Millan wrote:

      Thank you so very much for the article above. Am married and can relate on how many times i have to do something not because i want but because i know its the right thing or God has commanded.I strongly believe most of us christians have no idea what powere we have been given through the Blood and Name of Jesus Christ.Most times we also depend on the loving feeling to explain how we love, instead of explaining it through God’s defination of love.In the name of Jesus you can pray for that abusive husband and he will change, alot of time we focus on wanting to changing them immediately instead of raiding the devils kingdom with prayers, to break all curses and spirits associated with anger,jealousy etc. Lets not forget that the devil operates through spirits. The more time we spend time on our knees praying for our spouses and marriages the more things work well. Alot of time we us our own human effort to solve issues that a simple prayer would do. The bible says that Gods ways are much greater and higher than ours. He has the best solution to your problem. Let me give my own experiance as an example: i used to get easily annoyed with my husband over him leaving clothes and especially socks everywhere. It was irritating and i could get very angry and hence bring forth arguments, which then lead to other things ………….read arguments. It reached a point i had to pray about it and guess what, it didnt take one day for the anger to go but after a long time i just realised that i dont get annoyed even if he leave them there, infact i pick up with joy after he has left him. I can assure you that the solution i had wanted was for God to make him pick up clothes after himself. HOW GOD WORKS IN WAYS THAT MOSTLY ARE NOT OF OUR THINKING.
      Be blest, and keep praying for marriages.

     
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