Tag: hypocrite

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.

 

Prayer Hijacking

Ever heard someone start praying and all of a sudden they’re talking about something that wasn’t requested and you’re thinking, ‘what does that have to do with anything?’

photo credit: creation swap user Stacey Lewis

If you have, you’ve been a part of a prayer hijack.

If you’ve ever been in a small group, you’ve seen this in action. Allow me to illustrate.

Bob volunteers to pray for Mike and Sally because they’ve got a busy week ahead. Here’s how his prayer goes, starting with minute *0:00*:

00:00-1:00 – Opening intro to God

1:00-1:24 – Prayer for Mike and Sally

1:25-3:00 – Reciting random Scripture references

3:00-4:00 – Short exegesis on those Scripture references

4:00-5:00 – completely unrelated prayer of thanksgiving

5:00-7:00 – 5 point sermon on prayer, each pointing starting with the letter Y.

If you’ve ever used an outline for your prayers like that, or if you’ve ever heard someone use that outline and thought, “Oh, please Lord, let me never, ever pray like that out loud…” then make sure you refer to these 5 prayer reminders below.

5 Prayer reminders to Prevent Hijacking

1. Don’t preach a mini sermon. People aren’t bowing their heads and closing their eyes to hear your 5 alliterated points from Romans 8. If your prayer has points and subpoints, you’ve got a mini-sermon on your hands. Remember: you’ve been asked to pray. Not preach. They both start with the letter “p” but they are much different, oh mighty pray-er.

2. Don’t pray longer than 5 minutes. If you do, there’s no possible way you can stay on track. And there’s no way that anyone else is thinking anything positive about you after minute 1.5. If it takes you longer than 1.5 minutes to pray out loud in a group setting, ask them if you can be slated for the devotional next time.

3. Keep it focused. Remember the request you’re praying for. Stay on track, prayer warrior. I know your mind is running to all kinds of different prayers, sub prayers, and sub sub prayers…but keep your mind on the task at hand. Mike and Sally need you right now.

4. Long prayers intimidate others. Praying out loud is a great fear for people. And the longer your prayers are, the more people feel like they need to pray at least as long as you. Want to encourage people to pray? Then bring your stopwatch with you to small group.

5. This isn’t about you. Build your platform somewhere else. Impress your small group later. For now, bring someone’s request before God, and let the group move on. By trying to impress, you depress. And nobody wants a depressor in their small group. Nobody. Not even you.

Feel free to print these out on index cards and give them to everyone in your small group. Don’t just give them to that guy. If you do, it’ll just make things more awkward. And by “awkward,” I mean that his 7 minute prayer will blossom into a 12 minute prayer before the night is up.

Ever been a part of a prayer hijacking?

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. – Matthew 6:5

* photo credit: Stacey Lewis, creation Swap 

 

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