We all have difficult people we are called to love. The word 'hypocrite' - coming from the ancient greek theater - means an actor who wears a mask. As Christians, do we have a role in dealing with hypocrites? If so, how are we to confront them? What if we are the hypocrite?
all right so we all have people in our lives that are difficult to love right and if this entire series we've been talking about the great command love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength love your neighbor as yourself and we said over the first several weeks that there are some really different kinds of difficult people to love the first week we talked about we talked about controlling people it's on the bottom there but we talked about controlling people the first week and the second week we talked about critical people last week we talked about overly needy people and we talked about how do we deal with with the different people in those different categories that are sometimes like leeches in our lives okay and what I mean by leeches is that they like they mean well they intend well but sometimes they sucked the life out of us right a leech if you remember we said a leech will take hold and it'll release some sort of an enzyme so it doesn't hurt and then it holds on for dear life because if you rip it off it dies right we can't survive and it just it continues to release some kind of chemical that allows for the blood to continue to flow until it reaches the point where the host is exhausted and this is what relationship leeches do okay but we said very clearly it's not because they're necessarily evil or bad people right usually they're doing it because that's the only way they know how to survive yes sometimes we think like these sorts of people are inherently bad or evil people not necessarily sometimes they're just they don't know how to survive any other way so like they control that's what they do that's what they they feel like a sense of accomplishment fulfillment when they control the lives of others that they themselves have been hurt and criticized so much so perhaps to feel better they criticize others that they themselves want to feel like they're needed or perhaps they have their own hurts so they feel like someone else is going to be the one who saves them and satisfied them and so they become overly dependent and overly needy on another person how many people here know a hypocrite okay anyone know I have okay okay anyone sitting next no no put your okay no all right good yeah no we don't want problems here this morning right you know that the number one complaint usually that I've heard from most people about Christians that are non-christians or that go to that used to go to church and quit going to church the number one complaint that I that I usually hear from most people is people at church they're hypocrites right like we don't go to that place because those people say one thing and they do another thing that when they're in church they do something and then when they leave church they do something completely different the word hypocrite was actually used before the life of Christ in Greek theaters and what a hypocrite was was a stage actor a stage actor one who hid behind a mask and would perform in front of other people hey so that the word hypocrite just simply means an actor someone who hides behind a mask they put on the mask depending on who they're speaking with they're dealing with they'll put on one mask if they're dealing with a different group they'll take off the mask and put on another one so there's an absence of consistency in their lives an absence of genuineness or sincerity or integrity in their lives because they're simply putting on different masks to accommodate and fulfill the situation and when they're in church they'll put on the masks the Christian masks because they want to fit they want to be accepted okay they don't want to feel like they're doing something wrong or that they're different in Matthew chapter 23 verse 28 Jesus when speaking to the Pharisees he was telling them that they're so concerned about their outward appearance that the only thing that they were concerned about was how they would be seen and perceived by other people he says even you also outwardly appear righteous to men but inside you're full of hypocrisy and lawlessness he was saying to them that there is a difference there's a disconnect between what we see on the outside and what's actually happening on the inside right there's a disconnect between the hearts and the lips or the mind and the actions there was a complete disconnect on the outside we would see one thing on the inside there was something very different hypocrisy oftentimes is it's all around us in church and and this message really it's it's not in this is not to be preached to the world this is to be preached like he was talking to people that were claiming to be followers of God here right where oftentimes like want to take the gospel and say well this is how the world should be living no no this is how we as Christians should be living and the gospel is not here for us to use it as a hammer or such a myrrh to beat people over the head with it's for us to look at and judge ourselves and say am i acting or my living a life of integrity you might have a Christian kid in college who he claims he's a Christian he goes to church but on the weekends he's partying he's not studying and he's cheating on his exams at school right there's a disconnect there some of you might have supervisors or bosses at work who they speak spiritually talk about Christ's but they treat their employees horribly they talk about them behind their back they tear them down they lack integrity you might have someone you know at church who acts normal they show up the church they pray but then outside their life is completely different you might have a friend who tells everyone that they're a Christian but anytime someone does wrong they gossip about them they go around and talk about others constantly behind their back right and we all have people in our lives that fit that bill and so the question is what do we do about how are we to respond do we have a role that the bigger question that I want to start with is the question why are they acting like that like why are they acting like that because if we understand the why though why will help us determine the what we do right why they are the way they are helps determine how it is that we respond in social the social media Giants are creating this thing called a purchasing behavior analysis okay purchasing behavior analysis basically what they're doing is they're saying we want to know what it is that you like about your specific products okay we want to know how you feel about the industry we want to know what your interests or worries are so if we can collect a bunch of information about you then that will help us to determine we can then take that we can sell it to other companies who can use that to know your purchasing trends and we can create advertisements in such a way that will maximize their bottom line right so what they're saying here is we want to know why you are the way you are that'll help us determine what it is our our message will be to you okay if you are a 22 year old single female who is in your fourth year of college you have aspirations of being on Wall Street that's they are advertisement the message to you will be different than it would be for a 50-something year-old man who's working in a hospital who's married with several children the advertisement will be different the message will be different to each right who we are determines what the message is to us and so the question is that we want to start with is why are we acting why is that person acting like that and I want to give you three principles okay principle number one is maybe they don't really know God maybe they don't really know that maybe they're going to church but there's not a real relationship there you know what one of the challenges is that we think sometimes to know God is to have a bunch of information about him it's intellectual knowledge we reduce knowledge of God to information about God okay and in in the Greek to know God is not simply the collection of information or facts about him the word knowledge or gnosis in in Greek implies an intimacy right there's a there it's like the Adam knew his wife and the the byproduct of Adam knowing his wife was that they had a child right there's an intimacy that happens there for us to know God means that there's an intimacy there there there's a closeness yes there's information and facts but it doesn't stop at that point so principle number one is maybe they don't really know God first John chapter 2 verse 4 whoever says I know him but does not do what he commands as a liar the truth is not in that person sounds pretty harsh right it sounds quite harsh if I say I know him but I don't do any commands I'm alive I don't actually know him Hey and the truth is not in that person just because a person goes to church it does not mean that they've been made new in Christ to know him means that I become a new creation to be in Christ we become new right 2nd Corinthians 5:17 whoever is in Christ is a new creation old things pass away behold all things become new I might be acting a certain way because I don't know him ok the person who's living as a hypocrite may be doing just that Jesus said not every one who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven right but he who does the will of my father so that's principle number one principle number two is maybe they just don't know any better yet maybe they just don't know any better and someone said that maybe maybe like they know Christ they have a relationship but they just they don't they don't know any better okay there's still a spiritual babe there's still a spiritual infants 1st Corinthians chapter 3 verse 1 and I brethren I brethren could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal or worldly as to babe's in Christ okay maybe they just didn't know any better this person by the way all they don't need to be corrected they need to be instructed they need to be instructed okay with my child if they don't know any better and I go up and start correcting them they're gonna say you never told me right they might they just need to be instructed on what to do first I was reading story about a guy he was he was sharing about his own journey his own life and he was saying that when he became and you create a new Christian when he first started his journey with Christ him and his buddy like they they started their relationship of God around the same time they used to always get drunk together beforehand and then when they gotta became each new Christians they were like hey you became a Christian too you became a Christian too like yo let's go get drunk like they just they're like let's go get drunk and celebrate right I mean they didn't know any better they were new in their faith they had no clue at all right they weren't familiar with the passage that says we walked enough of our past lifetime in the ways of the Gentiles we walked in drunkenness and loser like he didn't know any better okay so part of the issue is sometimes the person honestly just doesn't know they need to be instructed in in faith principle number three and this is where we're gonna spend most of the rest of the time maybe they know better but they still disobey God maybe they know better but they still disobey God okay this is just I know but I'm not ready to commit myself there's not about I don't know God I don't know any better this is not about I'm like I need to be instructed this is I know and I'm just gonna do what I want to do okay first Peter chapter 2 verse 16 this is in the New Living Translation it says for you are free yet you are God's slaves so don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil oftentimes folks in this third category they believe they're above the rules and they'll rationalize and justify lifestyle based on their own perspective person might be addicted to porn and you might just simply say you know what I'm not hurting anyone this isn't hurting anyone it's not affecting anyone and quite frankly if my wife did for me what I needed I'd be it's it's her fault it's not right there's a what's going on here is there's a rationalization and justification as to why I'm living a certain way okay I might have so much money and I might say you know what I'm not materialistic I just enjoy the finer things in life right just enjoy the finer things in life I'm a steward of what God has given me right but the idea of sacrificing and giving to others well you know I give but I just enjoy I enjoy the things of life I don't have a problem with fill in the blank if you didn't act like this I wouldn't do this right so the issue what's going on here in any of these examples is simply there's always I can rationalize and justify and always project onto others or like I just the rules don't really apply to me in Jude which is a shortest I believe the shortest book or the second shortest book in the Bible is one chapter if you want to read an entire book today you can read Jude's epistle all right for certain individuals pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only sovereign and Lord okay certain individuals pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality so the challenge is sometimes we look and we say we'll find like we'll fight if when we were going through the the study on Romans we're saying how in Romans st. Paul was saying you have been given the grace of God don't use it as a license to sin don't use it as a license right let's talk about the third group okay [Music] the question is is it our business is it our business is it our business or do we have a role in the lives of dealing with folks that are in that third category and the flipside is should we be non-confrontational or should we just be all up in their business okay what's what's the role that we have if anything at all if you look if you look throughout the scripture you find that the profits you find that Paul and Peter you find that Christ Himself they confronted hypocrisy you can look throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament they always confronted hypocrisy I think Jesus number-one enemy during his time was hypocrisy right I mean read Matthew chapter 23 maybe like if you if you have a very high esteem of yourself and you want to be deflated a little bit definitely read Matthew chapter 23 right I mean that was his number one thing that he would go after is the issue oftentimes was not people who were in sin he would find them and he always doubt very compassionately and gently with people who were in sin he would say okay let's talk what's your situation okay now do this no more go your way go in peace it was always the people who were living in in in in sin but they were saying one thing and acting another that was the real group that he was oftentimes after it's so important I want to say to get this right because doing it wrong confronting or approaching or helping another person who's in hypocrisy doing it wrong can hurt the person it can hurt others around and quite honestly it can hurt us ourselves okay so doing it right I think is very very important that's what we're gonna talk about let's talk about three aspects of prayerful confrontation how do we approach someone prayerfully and confront them if they are a person who is a hypocritical person number one is we pray God help me confront with the goal of restoration help me confronts with the goal of restoration in Galatians chapter six verse 1 st. Paul says the following says brothers and sisters if someone is caught in a sin you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently restore that person gently okay he's saying here in other words when you confront them confront them with the goal of restoring them not with the goal of tearing them down another translation of the same passage the same text says if another believer is overcome by sin you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path right what's the goal the goal you're saying God help me be a help to this person help me to confront them not for the sake of tearing them down but with the goal of restoring them the goal of for helping them I was just chatting during the break with with one of the members here and we're saying sometimes what we need in order to do so is empathy we need empathy we need to understand where the person is at why they are right we need to understand why they're acting a certain way to know how to help them to know if we even have a role to help them write part of the key for us here and this is so important is that we not see ourselves as judges but as guides we're here to remember we said last week we said that our goal is to always point people to Jesus my goal is not to be judged my goal is simply and my role rather my role is simply to guide others to Christ my goal is also not to be right it's not to win the argument okay my goal is to help someone else get right with God it's not for me to be right and sometimes our ego gets in the way because we want to win we want to win the argument we want to win the disagreement we want to win the debate the goal is not to win it's not to be right it's to help the other person get right with God that means that when we talk about a heart that's loving and extending to another person it means that we wouldn't be mean like so a couple days ago I there was a firestorm that erupted on my Facebook wall and some of the comments that have been on there the intention was to help to guide but unfortunately the approach for some of the people on there has been hurtful and mean and proud and it's had an adverse effects right so so seeking to help another person means that we don't do so in a way that's damaging that's rude that's mean right and it's not simply the end goal is not simply I have to win the argue have to be right okay it's about humbling ourselves think about Jesus with the woman in adultery when they brought Jesus when they brought the woman to Jesus they threw her at his feet what did what did they say they said this woman was caught in adultery what should happen and Jesus actually he he didn't take either extreme if he was took the approach of truth only then short should have been stoned stoner killer and if it was extreme grace they would have said he would have said huh what's the big deal no problem just leave her alone what do you do remember Jesus stooped down and he started writing and some biblical commentators suggest that what he was actually doing there was writing the sins that the people the accusers actually when they came they started looking down they started seeing their own sins and it says one by one they left and Jesus turns to her well it wasn't just truth and it wasn't just grace it was both truth and grace he looked at her he says do you what happens your accusers they're all gone he says neither do I judge you go your way in peace and sin no more rights he sought to restore her he sought to restore her and in so doing I think he also helped restore her accusers so that they would understand that they have their own their own sin number two is to pray God help me confront carefully god help me confront careful help me confront with the goal of restoration now with the goal of winning now the goal of like being right not with the goal of hurting another person both the goal of restoring the other helping the other but number two is to do so carefully that passage in Galatians 6:1 he begins he says if someone's caught in sin you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently he goes on he says but watch yourselves or you also may be tempted okay watch yourselves or you also may be tempted anyone ever been in a situation where they were trying to help out another person and then what happened they were like being super jut you were being super judgement judgmental what happened you ended up falling into the same thing right a lot of times when we judge others we end up falling into the same when you're confronting you're vulnerable to pride right when I confront another person and I don't do so carefully mindful of my own weakness I am vulnerable to pride and I might fall into the same many years ago as confronting a family member who was gossiping about other family members and I was I did so with a complete like I was very new as like my first year walking with Christ I was very zealous and this has to stop and you can't gossip about these people anymore and then like I ended up falling into pride and end up starting to gossip about this situation the persons themselves can you believe they were doing this and it wasn't for the sake of restoration and I wasn't careful about it I didn't see my own weaknesses at the time proverbs chapter 16 verse 18 pride goes before destruction a haughty spirit before a fall someone took this verse by the way and they kind of condensed it pride comes before goes before the fall right that's where that this comes from okay pride goes before the fall we've got to be mindful when we're confronting another person of our own pride so that we not fall first Corinthians chapter 10 verse 12 therefore let him who thinks he stands take take heed lest he fall be mindful so that you don't fall yourselves how do we confront carefully we confront carefully with a heart to restore the goal is always the restoration of the other person okay it's always the restoration on the other person Jesus taught us in Matthew chapter 18 he says if if your brother your sister has an issue they've sinned against you they've they've said one thing they've done another thing and it's hurts you go to them confront them with the goal that you might save like you might gain them for Christ okay and he actually gives us the formula how to do so he says first go to them and talk to them confront them not for the right sake of being rights be careful be mindful so that you might restore them and he says if they don't hear you what do you do you go gather with you a couple of witnesses two to three witnesses okay so fine you find someone who could come with you and join you who might be able to perhaps speak to them why not for the sake of being right but for the sake of restoring them and if you've tried that then what does he say he says if you've tried that and that doesn't work take them to the church in other words taken to a person in leadership again for the sake of restoration not for the sake of embarrassing them not for the sake of hurting them not for the sake of isolating them or ostracizing them or any of that but for the sake of restoring them and if you've tried all that and it doesn't work what do you do make them you redefine the relationship he says you treat them as a heathen attacks laughter now what he's basically saying is that the relationship gets redefined for the sake even of their own salvation okay he's saying sometimes you deal with the person they continue to to hurt and hurt and hurt to the point and you've confronted them and you've tried if you're loving and you're caring for them and they just they continue they have no interest in changing he says what do you do you redefine the dynamic in the relation hey redefine the relationship not for the sake of hurting them but for the sake of helping you and the other person you and the other one of the things this earlier this week I posted a Twitter question a survey and on it I asked the farmer she said why do you think most people leave church I actually thought hypocrisy was going to be the number one answer was number two on the on the list you want to know that the number one answer that was on the board it was not finding authentic community not finding authentic community and I think part of being in an authentic community means that if I see my brother or sister in sin that I seek to restore them lovingly and we do it right not for the sake of hurting but I care enough I care enough that I'm going to go to my brother or sister and offer love and help to them if your brother or sister sins against you you help them this is not about confronting non-christians whether okay this is not about going to work and blowing people up at work that might not know the might not know Christ okay it's not about going to take care of it this message right here by the way it's for the Christian okay the funniest thing is when people want to take the gospel and they want to apply the gospel to people or not haven't experienced the gospel and then we wonder why people who have not experienced the gospel of Christ are not conforming to the gospel because it's not about saying okay you have to follow the set of rules but we want you to experience the loving grace of Christ and when you do your life will be transformed the goal here is to go to them if you've noticed in that the the the instruction that Christ gives he says when you go to the person what do you do you go to them just you and them you first speak to them one on one okay you don't go and talk to 40 people about it and create this like mass move against them you don't blow them up on Twitter or Facebook I mean that's the equivalent of walking into the mall and like screaming out Mary's levy hands--and right I mean imagine that right posting stuff like passive-aggressive comments on social media like then it's crazy you go to the person use to have a conversation with the person these by the way these conversations are best not to have over text message right these are there are some conversations that are healthier to have in-person face-to-face why because the problem with social media bhai it beside the fact in text messaging beside the fact that you can send a message and not have to face the person is the other person is free to interpret the message however they want and with whatever emotion that they're feeling in that moment okay so some of these conversation is common sense have them have them face-to-face and between the two of you implies something very important there's a relationship there's relationship a brother or sister implies relationship what that doesn't implies if if you just there's another member of the church that you have no relationship with that you're gonna go confront them and be like who are you what's your name we would have one conversation listen I'll be honest I don't confront people that I don't have relationship with I don't the people said yeah but you're a priest go talk to this person I'm like I don't relationship here's my child's phone number give them a call they're there they're addicted to drugs I'm like I don't relationship with your child I've never even spoken to the person right there's got to be relationship there's got to be a relationship okay please for the love of God make sure there's because when there's relationship you're willing to accept things from people because you know the person loves you yes okay okay if your brother sister listens you've won them over if they don't bring support if not take it to the church if they continue redefine the relationship okay number three number three God we said number one was God help me confront with the glow of restoration number two God helped me confront carefully number three God helped me see when I'm the hypocrite help me see when I'm looking up okay yeah god help me see you when I'm that person it's hard to see in the mirror sometimes that's the reason why Jesus when he was talking to that that the Pharisees he said to them you blind fools you're blind fools we've got the mirror right in front of Isis but you don't see you don't see yourself sometimes sometimes we don't see ourselves or we do but it's uncomfortable so what do we do we look away from the mirror it's not comfortable okay but if we want to be able to help others we ourselves have to be living authentic lives in genuine lives lives of integrity in Christ's and so a big part of this is saying lord help me to see when I'm living as a hypocrite help me to see when I'm acting so that I might myself become deformed should become like you you guys know the story of David King David was greatest king in the Old Testament he had an amazing amazing journey the the the the first many years of his life he was on the run from Saul he ends up he also kills this giant named Goliath he is ascension to the that the throne is like greeted like met with joy from from the people of Israel but David himself he commits adultery with Bathsheba you know he he's up one day he's not supposed to be there this is in 2nd samuel chapter 11 I believe it says when the king when when when Kings were out to battle it was springtime that's where he was supposed to be he wasn't there he wasn't where he was supposed to be where is he instead he's up on the rooftop and what's he doing he's checking out his next door neighbor Uriah's wife he sees her and he says I want her and what does he do he takes her and he has Uriah who's his buddy he has a murdered he sends him to the front of the the military line lets him die Nathan the Prophet comes and he tells him I've got a story I need to tell you he said there was this guy who he had like one little sheep one little sheep one man and he raised it he loved it so much cared for it dearly and his neighbor had a huge like so many flocks of sheep and all kinds of different animals on it he said one day the rich guy had friends coming over now what do you do he said to his his servants he says go get me that little baby sheep from the next-door neighbor's house bring it to me and what I want you to slaughter I want we're gonna use that to feed all my guests and it says David becomes in a rage he's in rage he's so angry okay and this is where we pick up second Samuel chapter 12 verse 5 to 7 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan as surely as the Lord lives the man who did this must die David is blind to himself he's blind to himself he doesn't see what's going on here okay blind fools Jesus says David as soon as she's like how could they do this how could he bring this man to me I've got to kill him he must pay for that lamb four times over because he did such a thing and he had no pity and what is navel Jimmy was your the man not like you're the man he says you're the man you're the one who did this you're the one who did this when we are most condemning it's often a reflection of where we're most vulnerable the area where we are most judgmental is often the area that we are the weakest ourselves in if we condemn others for their use of money oftentimes what it is is oftentimes we have money and a love of money in our hearts if we're critical of the way that people dress maybe we ourselves we struggle with lust in our hearts okay careful when we become the spec inspector want to look around and see where's the speck in the person's eye we forget we've got a huge log in our own eye okay Jesus says be very careful Psalm 50 in that they are the the Septuagint version Psalm 51 this is David after he's fallen into sin with Bathsheba he writes his beautiful Psalm this beautiful poem and in it he says created me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me grant me a willing spirit to sustain me oftentimes were like David was a shepherd so he understood that sheep sometimes they wander they see things that are beautiful that are shiny and they get pulled away from them we got to be careful that we don't see these beautiful shiny things and we wander after them and get get pulled from them we say to him create in us a pure heart created me a pure heart James chapter 5 verse 19 to 20 if anyone of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back remember this whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins cover over a multitude of sins it's a beautiful thing to help another person who's far from the Lord it's a beautiful thing but our job we don't fix people Christ us my job is not to fix another person my job our role is simply to guide others to Christ who he himself is the one who fixes he's the one who helps he's the one who restores ok we need to be very careful ourselves realizing our own weaknesses ok all right let's pause with that and we'll take some time for discussion [Music]