Eddie Haskell and the Price of Insincerity

If any of you are as old as me, you probably remember the defunct TV program, Leave It To Beaver. I loved that show. If you’ve never seen it, you can find full-length episodes of it on YouTube (just like everything else).

Leave it to Beaver has been described as a “feel good” family sit-com. I don’t EddieHaskellknow about that, but I always found it to be entertaining (probably a little tame for today’s tastes, however).

Ward, June, Wally and the Beaver were quite the family. But I have to say, the most unforgettable character on that show (for me at least) was Eddie Haskell.

Eddie was the smart mouthed kid who always tried to put up a phony façade for the adults. He would tell June Cleaver how nicely she was dressed that day and then go upstairs and make wisecracks about her. The kid who portrayed him, Ken Osmond, pulled it off really well. So well, in fact, that he got typecast by the role and couldn’t find enough work as an actor after that. He ended up becoming a policeman.

But back to Eddie Haskell… Eddie was a good-looking kid who thought a little too much of himself. On the other hand, he was too insecure to let the real Eddie be front-and-center.

Not Eddie Haskell
Not Eddie Haskell

He was a mere television character, of course, but there are lots of Eddie Haskell’s around. It amazes me how many of us in the church act like him. The church is the one place where we should be able to be ourselves—no airs, no facades, no false demeanors. Yet sometimes we’re as fake as anyone else. Who are we trying to be?

We’re often too busy appearing to be “holy” to let our guards down. We have to make sure no one suspects we’re really sinners underneath our halo. Heaven forbid we might emerge as less than perfect.

The sad thing about Eddie was that no one was fooled by his act. Everyone saw right through him. Nobody thought he was anything but a phony. They certainly didn’t see him as the overly polite young man he tried to portray to the adults. When he said, “That’s a lovely dress you’re wearing, Mrs. Cleaver,” June wasn’t buying it.

Well guess what! Not many are buying that we’re perfect saints either. In fact, some folks avoid our churches because they think we’re hypocrites. We talk a good game, but are we convincing anyone we actually care?

Eddie has an opposite in this world. His name is Jesus. Ask yourself this. Do I want to be like Eddie Haskell or Jesus Christ?

CleaverFamJesus told the Pharisees (the forerunners of Eddie Haskell) that they were like hired hands who would abandon the sheep when the wolves came around. He, on the other hand, was the real deal. The sheep would gather at the sound of his voice because he was genuine. How genuine are WE?


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