The President calls his own people ‘hypocrites’!

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European Hypocracy

Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.

Beware of hypocrites

“’Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.”-Matthew 23: 25-26

What is hypocrisy?

“You are a hypocrite! And so am I.”

These were essentially the words of FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, on the verge of the 2022 World Cup which started a few days ago in Qatar. Infantino, who was born in Switzerland to Italian parents, did not mince words when he had a platform to address the global sporting community.

ESPN reported him as saying the following: What is sad is that especially in the last weeks, we have been witnessing in some places a real lesson of moral, of double moral [standards]…We are told to make many lessons from some Europeans, from the Western world. I’m European. I think for what we Europeans have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.”

Did you catch that? Infantino called out what he saw as European hypocrisy. Hypocrites say one thing but do something else. They utter the right words, but their actions do not back up what was said. This is duplicity, that is, being two-faced.

Infantino’s view was that persons who were criticizing the choice of Qatar as the World Cup host due to its poor human rights record, should first look at themselves. He targeted Europeans, taking ownership of the fact that he, too, is from that continent. His point was that Europe had questions to answer from its own past so that, as a region, it needed to be slow to adopt a position of moral authority when it came to another country’s failings.

Jesus, in Matthew 23 above, also called out hypocrisy. His concern was that some of the religious leaders of his day focused more on looking good externally while their inner character was rotten to the core. His admonition was clear: fix who you are on the inside first. After that, your actions will naturally fall into place. This remains priceless advice, even today.

The hypocrite in all of us

As we pursue a life of integrity, let us humbly remain aware of our own duplicity.

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

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