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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Holy Hypocrisy
By Judith Gayle Smith


The flesh-eating disease of self,
a masterful facade
of piousness,

drew people to me in wonder
and awe over my
incredible faith.

I trusted my innermost heart
to fully lead me into

Folly indeed!

I once awoke with a paeon
of praise to YHWH.

When awakening praises burned sour,
as I questioned my faith in God,
how to save face?

The charade begins.

Freshly opened and jaded eyes
saw sins in church leadership,
doubts soured me.

The armor of God too heavy to lift,
the wiles of a devil so subtle,
his knowing grin

mocked me from my prideful pedestal.
My paeon of praise became
a sodden litany of grief.

Read between the lines.

the woeful bleating

of a tortured heart:

Our GOD is King - with praise exalt HIM!
How, where and when?
WHO do I follow?
In grief? in despair?

are my praises hollow?

With joyous shouts and grateful sighs.
So hard sometimes
unceasing prayer.
I can sigh, can shout,

does HE really care?

With temptings sore we dare not fault HIM -
So easy to yield -
temptings are Satan's dare!
Satan wants me - a sinner.

I must beware.

HE's not excuse for merchandise.
Yeah, sure. Just ask
the greedy storekeepers.
Always selling HIS Name -

dirty money reapers.

A tearless eye and hardened heart
I am just too darn proud
to be humble.
At other times I simply

whine, sniff, grumble.

are cause for drawing far from grace.
Attend church
with those hypocrites?
Pretenders to grace -

I won't fit where they sit.

With prideful stance we draw apart
Do I thank GOD because
I'm not like THAT sinner?
I don't think GOD looks at me

and sees a soul winner.

and, thankless, do not seek HIS face.
What? HE expects me
to love my enemy?
I cannot help it!

It's good that he's afraid of me!

HE reigns! How can we fail to see
I must close my eyes
lest to me HE shows
that my carnal nature

caused me to sink this low.

HIS mighty hand at work today?
Oh dear Lord, let me be.
I am "saved" and have my rights!
Oh dear Lord, you're blinding me!

I cannot bear seeing Your holy light.

HE deigns to pity such as we
Odd. If I have been "saved" -
why should HE ever pity me?
From the punishment for sin -

haven't I been truly set free?

Who blindly seek to go our way.
I have Christ! I am SAVED!
Why do YOU still bother me?
Sure - I still wilfully sin,

but I'm answerable only to me.

Unheeding, blinded by our sin
Is this truly why Christ came?
That I may sin again and again?
Oh, lay off convicting, Holy Spirit -

don't come back 'til I tell you when!

to HIS sweet Spirit Who strives within.
What's that? "The "sin unto death"?
By defying HIS Holy Spirit, did I
turn a deaf ear to HIS pleas

to be holy as HE is, and cry

"But I am saved! I need not fear!
"Fear of the Lord is the
beginning of knowledge"?
Lord, I cannot stop sinning -

I'm teetering now on the edge.

HIS love for me does keep me jolly!
"Our sins have hid HIS Face
from us that HE will not hear us".
What a foolish person I've been -

I am merely corruptible dust.

My every prayer I'm sure HE'll hear!"
Sometimes I wonder
why HE pays me heed -
when I eagerly call to HIM

just to supply my greed.

While I

still choose

to follow folly?

"Time heals all wounds"
time wounds all heels.

Wounded by my wicked heart
not fully yielded to God.

It's so easy to play at being Godly.
Knowing the right words,
phrases, mannerisms.

Satan knows the Bible.

He twists my heart into knots
I'll never unravel without the Christ.

Repentance doesn't allow
for self aggrandizement.

Self esteem raises itself
above humility to God!

I desperately need to see me
as our holy precious Lord does.

Not pretty.

Jingling my bells on street corners,
seeking praise from men for my
unholy self-righteousness.

Through Christ I refuse to follow
Satan's unholy temptings.

I choose not to follow folly.

The charade ends


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This article has been read 473 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/02/13
Wow - very powerful. Some fabulous imagery. Thanks for sharing!
C D Swanson 02/02/13
Gripping! Powerful writing.
God bless~
Allison Egley 02/02/13
Wow. This is great. And so creative too! Nice job.
Danielle King 02/03/13
Powerful indeed. And creative. Fitting title too.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/03/13
I had all kinds of emotions that boiled to the surface as I read this poem. I think you did a splendid job of showing the MC's emotion. This piece speaks volumes. Well done.
lynn gipson 02/03/13
Very powerful and thought provoking. Your imagery was well written.

Very well done.



Sheldon Bass 02/04/13
Very heart felt piece. I like the way you show the self deception and then the heart still loving sin and the consequences. A horrendous affliction wrought through turning a deaf ear to the Spirit of God, resisting. Also liked the reference to the tinkling bells the holy "appearing" religious leaders of Jesus' day wore. "Holy Man coming!"
Very thought provoking. Oh the self seeking crimes our own psyche perpetrates against us.
Myrna Noyes02/04/13
Wow! The title is perfect for this thought-provoking and spiritually challenging piece! What an incisive expose' of our fatally-flawed human hearts! That's why the psalmist pleaded with God to "create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me"! I fear I saw glimpses of my own deceitful core in this sobering poem, and I didn't like the picture! I must cry, "Father, give me a new heart, free from "holy hypocrisy"!
Bea Edwards 02/05/13
Incredibly original and fine piece of poetry. Your transparency aided to the impact of your well crafted stanzas.
Bea Edwards 02/05/13
Incredibly original and fine piece of poetry. Your first line 'flesh eating bacteria' was a terrific intro.Your transparency aided to the impact of your well crafted stanzas.
Bea Edwards 02/05/13
oops flesh eating disease I meant...sorry.