Coffee and Hypocrisy

Hypocrite…we like to deal out the label pretty quick, at least in some of my circles anyway. In the days of the letters to the early church, a hypocrite referred to a professional actor, someone who acted like something they weren’t for personal gain or profit. Today we talk about someone who upholds one standard or on one hand stands for something, and on another doesn’t live up to it (at best) or is in fact quite the opposite (at worst). Either way, I have come to the conclusion that one problem of upholding high ideals, is the requirement to then live up to them.


Once upon a time I was an outspoken climate change skeptic and unrepentant consumerist. A lot has changed since then. I have however, always been a thinker and an debater. In order to defend the former, I began to read and research, believing my position would clearly be defended by the facts. Because, of course, I was right. I soon came to the conclusion i wasn’t. Explanation of this and the theology that now underpins my perception of the world is a post for another day. As it stands I now accept we must take responsibility for our world and the effect we have on it for a variety of humanitarian and environmental reasons (also posts for other days).

(The Story)

I met a friend  for coffee a few days ago. He happens to be well known as a Climate change denier. We sat in for coffee, I ordered in a cup, my friend ordered his in a take away cup. I, obviously, pointed this out, along with all the terrible things his cup was doing to the environment,  and essentially proceeded to ride my high horse right though the conversation.

Cut forward about 24 hours or a little more. Its 7am. I am rushing 4 children aged 1-10 out the door to make it to an 8am basketball game for one of the above mentioned. No time for food, barely time to assemble oneself. Dress 2, check 2 are dressed, hair done for 3, gear check, baby bag packed, baby changed, fed… where is the dog, did anyone feed him? What stadium are you at today?  is there enough change lying around to pay the entry? Coffee!

Coffee… but i forgot my keep-cup. They only serve in take away. So here we are. The choice is conviction or coffee. I choose coffee.


I send my friend a picture of the cup and my story, as some kind of undoing, making right and encouragement that we all start somewhere in making changes. I never used to think about it, and now I can’t un-see it. I wish I could, but I cant. So I will do my best, and still won’t get it right all the time. I would like to call it repentance but I think  if I were in the same position I would do it again. Even though I know my brain will continually play the words “no excuse for single use” the entire time, just like it did the other day.

One day i think i will be able to honestly ask God to help me make the right choice every time. For now this is my genuine prayer…

Lord, help me to remember my keep cup.






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