“Relational Vampires: Hypocritical People”

Week 4: How do I love a hypocrite?
 
How do I love a hypocrite?
-Why are they acting that way?
-Maybe they don’t really know God
-Maybe they don’t know better.
-Maybe they know better but still disobey God. (Hypocrite)
 
What to pray when lovingly confronting a fellow Jesus-follower:
-“God, help me to confront with the goal of restoration”
-“God, help me to confront carefully.”
-“God, help me to see when I’m a hypocrite.”
 
Bottom Line: Hypocrisy ends where repentance begins. Invite others to join you there.
 
Further Conversation
1. How do you define hypocrisy in your own words? What’s the opposite of a hypocrite?
2. Why is it important to not ask or expect non-Christians to live by Christian standards. What would it look like to practice this?
3. Read Galatians 6:1 What is a good example of confronting with the goal to restore?
4. Read Matthew 18:15-17 How does Jesus’ way help protect us from hypocrisy? How does it aim at restoration for everyone?
5. Read Psalm 51:10-13 Have you ever been a part of a healthy confrontation that led to restoration? What made it work?
6. Read James 5:19-20 How can or will you change the way you confront others. Are there any relationships you need to begin to restore? How can Christ Church help you take this next step?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – James 5:19-20
I remember the panic as I lost track of my mom in the supermarket. I was maybe 7 or 8. I ran up and down the aisles trying to find my family, certain that I would be lost forever. I am so grateful to the young lady who saw me, comforted me, and guided me to the Customer Service desk where my mother was waiting. Jesus followers sometimes get lost along the way. We make wrong decisions, we get caught up in sin that pull us away from the path Christ marks out. Who will have the courage to call us back? The challenge is that we don’t like being told we are going the wrong way. We don’t want our sin recognized for what it is. But we need it. Hypocrisy is claiming Christ but not fully following Christ. Who do you know that needs lovingly guided back? Where might you?
Pray: LORD Jesus, help me be honest with myself when I am not following you. And give me the courage to love others back to you.
 
Tuesday – Jude 1:4
Love everyone. Simple enough, right? But how do we love? People today claim that love means accepting and approving of someone choices and beliefs. That has never been true. I can love someone without approving of their beliefs or practices. In fact, we as a Jesus followers are called to protect the truth and teachings within the church. Jude calls out false beliefs. There is loving ways to confront. Love is always Grace + Truth. Grace welcomes. Truth corrects. May we do both well. Love cares enough to confront.
Pray: Almighty God, help me love others as you do. May I be full of grace and sacrifice while standing firm in your truth.
 
Wednesday – 1 John 2:1-6
What will you dress as for halloween? My son dressed as superman a few years back. He had the bright blue suit and the flowing red cape. He ran around with his fist extended pretending to fly. For a moment, in his mind, he was superman. But we know dressing the part doesn’t make you a superhero. In the same way, saying I’m a Christian doesn’t make me one. I can sit in a garage and say “vroom vroom” but it does not make me a car. A Christian is one who has surrendered to the lordship and authority of Jesus Christ. As Paul writes, “I no longer live, it is Christ who lives in me.” Who is your Lord? John challenges us to find forgiveness in Christ and to obey him alone. That is the sign that identifies a Christian.
Pray: Jesus, Son of God, you are my Lord and my Savior. My sin is forgiven by you and my life now belongs to you! I am yours.
 
Thursday – Matthew 18:15-17
I’ve not heard this passage preached often in my life. In our culture of tolerance, it sounds mean to confront someone. Its sounds downright unChristian to treat someone differently because of sin. Yet Jesus gives us this instruction. What is Jesus’ goal? First, its a reminder that sin has consequences. Sin separates us from God. Even when forgiven, staying in sin will keep us from growing in faith. Sin also harms the church. Love requires confrontation. But look at how Jesus instructs us to treat the unrepentant. We treat them like pagan or tax collector. We redefine our relationship with them and begin loving them back into the church. This is not hate but compassion. It is love! How have you seen confrontation done in the church? How does Jesus’ way protect us from hypocrisy?
Pray: Heavenly Father, help me aim for holiness and flee from sin. Help me love others enough to guide them to do the same.
 
Friday – Psalm 51:9-13
Sometimes I am especially grateful for a warm shower. Truth is, some days after some activities, I just stink! In moments like that, I don’t want to be out in public. I know I’m dirty and I would fear rejection. Sin has a similar stench within our souls. Deep down, we know there is a problem and we slowly pull away from those who might be sensitive enough to smell it on us. The problem is that if we stay in our sin long enough, we lose our sensitivity to it and no longer realize how damaging it is to our relationship with God and others. I love a shower because it cleanses me. Repentance does the same for my soul. This psalm captures the cry of someone desperate to be cleaned and restored. How is your soul? Are you in need of God’s shower of grace? Let this Psalm become your prayer.
Pray: LORD Jesus, create in me a clean heart. Forgive and restore me. Renew a right spirit within me. I need you.
 
Saturday – Galatians 6:1
I’m a father, responsible for three young children. I’m a husband and I have a responsibility to my wife. I’m a pastor with a responsibility to the church. I’m a neighbor with a responsibility to my neighbors. The list could go on and on. If we are in Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to others. We must love them, guide them, and seek their best. This means loving others enough to lead them away from sin and danger. This is what it means to be responsible. How needs you to step up in their life today?
Pray: Loving God, thank you for those who exercised loving responsibility over me. Help me step up and love others the same.