I have this friend I used to like. He is going through a rough time. I want to reach out to him, but I don't approve of his current lifestyle, hence I hesitate. I don't want him to think I like what he does. What should I do?
One of the reasons I don't publicly say much about Christ is because I have this fear that one day my sins will be exposed, and I'll be seen as a hypocrite before all men. How can I get rid of this fear?
People are not Christians because they live perfect lives. They are Christians because they chose to leave their sins behind in order to follow Christ. Every Christian has events in their past that they are not proud of. Paul is a good example:
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life" (I Timothy 1:12-16).
Hypocrisy is based on the Greek word for an actor. Someone who pretends to be something he is not. Paul could talk about his past because it was his past. It wasn't who he currently was. He wasn't pretending to be a Christian, he really did live the life expected of him. Thus, one aspect of teaching others is that you must first clean up your own life before you can help others clean up theirs. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:3-5). Someone still struggling with alcohol will not be able to effectively lead a drunkard out of his sin.
The goal of teaching is to encourage a person to change. Teaching doesn't show approval of the sins a person is currently involved in. Teaching is encouraging a person to abandon their sins for a better life.
But there is another aspect that must be considered as well. Helping someone who is in the throes of a sin you once struggled against can lead to temptation. "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted" (Galatians 6:1). I've seen well-intentioned people get pulled back into their old habits because they were not careful about themselves.