Confronting Hypocrisy

Gal 2:11 – But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
12 – For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.
13 – And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
14 – But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (ESV)

 Paul hammers home something that is sorely lacking in my life today–the willingness to confront hypocritical behavior and beliefs.

I am still challenged by the politically correct views of the culture in which I live. That is, when I see something that stands out in contradiction to what I believe is clear in the Word, I fall back on “You are entitled to your beliefs.” I do not confront and challenge the hypocrisy that seems to contradict the clear teaching of scripture.

Yet, I am not immune to hypocrisy in my own life.

When I was in Bible College, I was visiting my parents over the Christmas holidays. At Christmas dinner, my mother liked for everyone to have a glass of wine, and I had no qualms about sharing a glass with the family. During the meal, a friend from the college showed up at the door, and I felt very uncomfortable with his arrival. Was I not somewhat like Peter in the above quoted passage?

To me, it was hypocritical to have that sort of feeling. Either it was okay to have a glass of wine, or it was not.

I think the problem with confrontation exists in my life for at least four reasons:

  1. I’ve made incorrect calls in the past.
  2. I’ve seen others abused by such confrontation.
  3. Fear (of doing either one of those mentioned above).
  4. Fear of the animosity generated by speaking the truth.

To be sure, there are times when, with limited understanding of God’s dealings in a person’s life, I have gone in to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort” (2 Tim. 4:2) and only caused grief for myself and the one whom I was trying to ‘help’. As a result, I now look for any possibility that “this may not be the right time” to bring something to someone’s attention.

I have heard more times than I can count that “whenever you point the finger, there are three pointing right back at you.” I’ve also heard the ‘judge not’ routine; and the ‘log in my own eye;’ and ‘we are not God’s policemen.’

I have spent many hours counselling those who have been hurt by someone who came in like gangbusters to correct some seeming misstep by a believer. I am also one who has suffered that kind of abuse.

As a result, I am now crippled with a fear of “getting it wrong” when dealing with one of God’s chosen.

But, the Lord has not given up on me. He continually brings someone my way who needs to be helped along the path, who wants to be helped along the path.

And in the process of my struggling with the correct words so that I minister life and not death, God gives grace and people are being restored.

However, as I write this, I am in contact with one whose world has been shaken. This one is no longer walking close to the Lord, and is even having doubts as to God’s existence, because of the ‘evil’ this one sees happening to and through others in the family.

I have been trying to make a gentle call to return to the Lord, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. The person essentially says, “Speak to me plainly.”

The problem this one is dealing with is not so much behavior, as it is belief. The belief that is based in self-righteousness manifests itself in blaming the others who are involved.

Confrontation will soon be called for, because the hypocrisy of self-righteousness is a cancer that destroys any life it touches.

Will I be able to “be kind to (this one), able to teach, patiently enduring (the) evil (of vehement anger), correcting (this one) with gentleness” (2Tim. 2:24-25)?

To compound the problem, this is a person with whom I made a major mistake with a false confrontation almost 30 years ago; and now this one is back in my life after more than 25 years.

Who says there is no second chance with God? 

NOTE: This is the second in a weekly posting on the Epistle to the Galatians. I am not the only one who is writing on this book. There are others who will be posting something on their blog each day of the week. We are each bringing something that the Lord gives us from chapter two of the epistle. You will be greatly blessed and encouraged, and your heart will be filled if you will take the time to read each day’s posting from one of the other saints involved in this collective effort. Put this link in your “favorites” or on your link bar at the top of your browser: and make it a point to visit everyday.

~Learning to Speak the Word

Practicing the Presence of God
Part of the world-wide-web ministry of Dale Hill Ministries
Learning to Speak the Word
Gracie Hill

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus!

As you can see, there have been some changes in the way we are doing things. Take time to read Gracie’s article and then browse around the new Blog.

Hill’s Happenings is no longer a part of the newsletter, but is posted on this site under its own category. Whenever something worthwhile happens, we post it to that area. That way we don’t have to wait until something occurs; and neither do we have to struggle to find something to put into the newsletter. Besides, I don’t imagine everyone on this list cares about what is going on. (grin) For those who do want to keep up, you can subscribe to this blog and be notified when something is posted.

There is also the Prayer & Praise tab at the top of the page. Put your prayer requests here. Those who are subscribed to the blog will get your request in their inbox and will be praying on your behalf.

There are more changes coming, but, for now, enjoy and learn from Gracie as she writes about

Learning to Speak the Word.

Speaking the Word must begin with learning the word. That begins with reading the Word and placing it in our minds continually, until it filters down into our hearts as we continually repeat it. This process works so well that the advertising business has used it for their products. It changes the way we think.

James is a good place to start the renewing of your mind, with the goal of placing God’s word in your mouth.

Picture a teapot. God’s word, living water, is poured into the pot. It filters through the tea of your mind into the body of the pot, your heart, and is poured out the spout, your mouth, to refresh those around you.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (KJV)

The words of the song come to mind: “Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts, let us not lift our soul to another, O Lord let us be a generation that seeks your face, O God of Jacob.”

Matthew Henry wrote the following for James 4:1-10:

“Draw nigh to God, in his worship and institutions, and in every duty he requires of you.” 2. Cleanse your hands. He who comes unto God must have clean hands. Paul therefore directs to lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting (1 Tim 2:8), hands free from blood, and bribes, and every thing that is unjust or cruel, and free from every defilement of sin: he is not subject to God who is a servant of sin. The hands must be cleansed by faith, repentance, and reformation, or it will be in vain for us to draw nigh to God in prayer, or in any of the exercises of devotion. 3. The hearts of the double-minded must be purified. Those who halt between God and the world are here meant by the double-minded. To purify the heart is to be sincere, and to act upon this single aim and principle, rather to please God than to seek after any thing in this world: hypocrisy is heart-impurity; but those who submit themselves to God aright will purify their hearts as well as cleanse their hands. (Emphasis added)

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

Drawing near to God requires faith, repentance, and reformation. It requires clean hands, free from wrath and doubting. It requires a pure heart, free from double-mindedness. It requires a single purpose, aim and principle. We believe, we turn from the present way of thinking, we change to a new way of thinking as we converse with God, we accept his way of thinking. We put it into action, denying doubts and WRATH {The Bible declares that all people are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph 2:3) (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)}. Sin is a translation of wrath. We keep a single purpose that has one aim, to please God, and one principle to be what he wants.

To summarize,

we believe,

we turn from the present way of thinking,

we change to a new way of thinking, [the renewing of our mind] as

we converse with God,

we accept his way of thinking,

we act by denying doubts and wrath (sin), and

we focus on a single purpose that has one aim—to please God,

and one principle—to

be what he wants.

Read the Word, learn the Word, speak the Word, share the Word.

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