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Rejecting Hypocrisy and Pursuing Integrity

Apr 10, 2016
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Rejecting Hypocrisy and Pursuing Integrity
Matthew 23 shows us some insight into some of the passion that Jesus had for authenticity and integrity. Jesus is calling out the Pharisees for their practices because they took things that were healthy and good, but made them into a sacred ritual that became an extreme. Their desire to serve Him became a self-centered focus on themselves. We can learn a lot from this passage…
Jesus goes on to give us “the seven woes” of the scribes and Pharisees. He uses harsh imagery and language to convict. The Pharisees had gotten into a practice of “minoring on the majors and majoring on the minors”. In other words, they worshipped their rules and structures more than the Maker.
A hypocrite is an actor, or one who wears a mask. The Pharisees let their pride drive their hypocrisy. We wear these masks for two reasons:
1. Want – I want you to see me as more than I am. What we believe is not what we do.
2. Need – Because of my brokenness and shame, I need you to believe something different about me than the truth. Some of us have been given an identity by something other than the Father, but remember, He says, “You are loved, you have a hope, a future, and are chosen and adopted.” He loves you!
We should reject hypocrisy and embrace integrity (wholeness, soundness, the Garden of Eden shalom). So much of our life is lived “unseen”. That is the life we need to build and work on. Pastor Alex used the example of a keel under the water of a ship that gives it balance. “Build your life under the waterline…where no one sees.”
To discuss today
1. In what ways do you practice what you preach?
2. Where have you been convicted in your life recently? (Remember, conviction of the Holy Spirit is grace!)
3. When do you put on a mask? Why?
4. Is Carmel a “safe place” to be you? Why?
Father, would you freshly show me that I am your child, and that you know me and love me no matter what? Help me to remove my pride and live “mask-free” in freedom as a child of the King. Father, I want to be an example to my brothers and sisters that believe they have to be an “actor” to feel accepted and loved by the church. I ask that you do a work in our church to help remove the masks so that we can be “the safest place on earth.”