Tag: hypocrisy

Crazy slow drivers. Crazy fast drivers.

I was driving down the interstate the other day, just cruising along minding my own business. Creeping to the top of a hill, two lanes merged into one as I passed the “merge ahead” sign. I turned my left signal on, checked my driver’s side mirror, and drifted before the right lane ended. Courteously, I might add.

merge1

image credit: Blog.GetVero.com

Then out of nowhere, a little sports car whipped around me, from the left lane into the right, then barely getting back into the left lane in front of me, before the lane he was in morphed to a gravel-y shoulder.

I gave him a polite, yet ‘I-know-what-you-did-and-I-want-you-to-know-that-I’m-angry-but-not-angry-enough-to-go-road-rage-on-you’ honk of my horn, and shook my head in disgust.

‘That guy was crazy,’ I mumbled through clenched jaws.

But I cooled off.

About .5 mile ahead, I approached a car driving a little slower than I. Quite a bit slower than I, in fact. The speed limit was 65 mph, and he (I tend to assign gender to cars when I get frustrated) was poking along at a measly 52 mph.

The nerve!

Didn’t he know the speed limit? Didn’t he know I was in a hurry? Does he not have any sort of a life, that he has so much time on his hands he can go 13 mph under the speed limit?

I fumed until he turned right, and I could resume my speed of choice.

The hypocrisy of it all

I am, of course, a prototypical hypocrite. I judge people on things I don’t want to be judged on. I hold others responsible for things I don’t hold myself responsible for. I curse you, then turn around and do exactly what I cursed you for.

I’m a big dummy.

Although it’s kind of silly, I think we do this same sort of thing in a lot of areas of life.

Driving

* If someone drives faster than we do, they’re a crazy driver.

* If someone drives slower than we do, they’re wasting our time.

Working out

* If someone works out (and we don’t), they’re a crazy workout-aholic.

* If someone doesn’t work out (and we do), they’re a lazy bum.

Dieting

* If someone eats healthy (and we don’t), then they’re a health nut fanatic.

* If someone eats whatever they want (and we eat healthy), then they probably don’t care about their body.

Finances

* If someone drives a nice vehicle (and we don’t), then they are probably unwise with their money.

* If someone drives a junker of a vehicle (and we drive something newer), then they probably don’t take care of their stuff. They’re not good stewards of God’s gifts.

Church attendance

* If someone goes to church regularly (and we don’t), then they’re a crazy religious zealot.

* If someone doesn’t go to church regularly (and we do), then they’re a dirty rotten sinner who doesn’t think about God or others.

TV

* If someone watches TV (and you don’t), they probably love to waste their life away.

* If someone doesn’t (and you do), they are just a prude.

Social media

* If someone posts consistently on social media (and you don’t), they have no idea how to manage their time.

* If someone doesn’t post (and you do), they don’t understand how people in this generation connect.

We are quick to judge others and slow to judge ourselves. We judge others in hard lines and cut-and-dry terms.

But when we judge ourselves, we judge with grace. We give allowance for busy schedules. For having kids around the house. For having an extra stressful season at work.

We give ourselves a little slack when it comes to the way we handle our money (things are tight right now). The patience, or lack thereof, we have with our kids (they were being overly difficult). Our eating habits (I traveled a lot this month). Our driving habits (we were in a hurry to go to…church).

We’re modern-day Pharisees, casting stones at others and dodging the ones thrown at us. We feel justified in our path as we spit and jeer at others.

Next time you’re tempted to judge, lead with grace. That’s what you do with yourself, isn’t it?

It’s like what Paul hinted at in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love believes the best, hopes the best, and is able to endure because it chooses love first. It chooses to believe right motives until it hears otherwise. It chooses to position itself like it wants to be positioned, in the seat of grace.

Isn’t that how you want to be judged?

And the crazy part is that God knows us. Fully. Yet still gives us grace. And then more grace. (Re: James 4:6)

Let’s lead like that in our relationships.

See ya on the road. You crazy driver.

 

The Gospel-Centered Small Group Leader

Let love be genuine. – Romans 12:9

image credit: creation swap user Josiah Kopp

When it comes to talking about the marks of a true follower of Jesus, it’s no surprise that Paul starts out talking about love.

Literally, Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” This is significant because the hypocrite has one thing on his mind:

What will people think of me?

Not, “Who am I?” Not, “How can I serve?” Not, “How can I make much of the power of the Gospel to transform?” The hypocrite is primarily concerned with what others think of them, trying to make the outside look better than the inside. (Matthew 23:27)

Hypocrisy loves to hide.

We have this part of us that tries to hide and appear better than we really are. We don’t want people to see the “real” us. Because the “real’ us may be repulsive, scandalous, depressed, and unworthy. We think, “If you only knew the ‘real’ me…”

The great news about our approaching God is that we don’t have to hide! Christ died for us, right in the midst of all of our messiness. And the Church, authentic community, should be the same. But there’s a vast difference between the group leader who’s pursuing the Gospel with their group…and the one who’s not.

A me-centered small group leader

  • Hides their junk.
  • Tries to make much of his or her knowledge of the Bible.
  • Hides behind the veneer of leadership.
  • Hides behind pushing other people to share their story.
  • Shares pain and heartache and difficulties and struggles using the terms, “him, her, they, them, and you.”

A Gospel-Centered Small Group Leader

  • Shares their faith story knowing that it displays God’s grace.
  • Shares their faith story knowing that it offers hope.
  • Shares their faith story knowing that it breaks down walls that keep people from God.
  • Pursues vulnerability because they’re not scared of being “found out.” They’ve already been accepted by the King.
  • Uses the words, “I, me, and us” way more than, “you, him, her, they, or them.”

Anything less than genuine love (Romans 12:9) is cheapening the grace and mercy and kindness and power of God. Because it’s making much of you, and little of the God we say we love.

Being vulnerable with your faith story leads to Gospel health. And if our aim is Gospel-centered community, then we need to pursue genuine love. Love that says, “I know you, I know your story, I know your pain and your failures and your frustrations and your questions…and I love you still.” That’s what the Gospel says. (Romans 5:6)

And that’s what we should say, too.

*image credit: Creation Swap User Josiah Kopp

 

Be an Expert!

So a few days ago I was disappointed, and today I’m just left shaking my head.  I was looking at the details and speaker lineup for an upcoming conference designed to help pastors and leaders make the best use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.).  I looked at each speaker’s bio, and clicked through to their blog sites.  Three of their blogs had not been updated in over a week (which isn’t a huge deal), and two had not been updated in over 3 months!  If you are going to be a social media “expert,” you have got to be diligent about interacting in the social media world!  Updating a blog sporadically is fine for most people.  But for others, such as a speaker at a national event, not updating your blog kills your reputation and influence.

Are you becoming an “expert” in your field?  If not, why not?  Those you lead deserve your best.  If you’re a pastor, be the best in town.  If you’re a plumber, offer the best plumbing work available.  If you’re a real estate agent…find a new job (I’m kidding!).  You can become an expert in any field that you want, but it takes effort.  Read, ask questions, learn from others who are better at it than you, practice, practice, practice.

This “blogger” was supposed to be an expert, but he wasn’t.  He could have been, but dropped the ball.  Don’t lose influence with people by claiming one thing and living another.  That’s called hypocrisy.

And nobody likes a hypocrit.

Not even God.

 

Don’t be a hypocrit

I’m listening to a myriad of music right now.  One artist that I’m really liking is Jon Foreman, lead singer of the band Switchfoot, who has recently recorded four EP’s (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer), and has also recently recorded an album with Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek) as the band Fiction Family.  I love Jon’s song, Instead of a Show.  It’s taken almost directly from Isaiah 1.  Here are the lyrics:

Instead Of A Show
I hate all your show and pretense
The hypocrisy of your praise
The hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show
Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stomp on my ears when you’re singing ’em
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Your eyes are closed when you’re praying
You sing right along with the band
You shine up your shoes for services
There’s blood on your hands
You turned your back on the homeless
And the ones that don’t fit in your plan
Quit playing religion games
There’s blood on your hands

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show
I hate all your show

Let’s argue this out
If your sins are blood red
Let’s argue this out
You’ll be one of the clouds
Let’s argue this out
Quit fooling around
Give love to the ones who can’t love at all
Give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
Stand up for the ones who can’t stand at all, all
I hate all your show

What do you think?  Is God pleased every time you do “good” things?  Or is there more to it than that?  Can you really displease God while doing the “right” thing?

 

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