Being Hypo-Critical Of Others
“And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas:who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you:but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord:and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium”
Sometimes in life we run across people that are so critical of everything and everyone that it makes the receiver’s lives so terribly overwhelming that they can barely breathe. We expect that type of behavior in the lost world but seldom do we expect this type of treatment in the House of God. Surprisingly, it happens all too often and more than we would even care to comfortably talk about. So how do we address this sinful issue in the House of God?
This issue with being hypo-critical of others.
It Hurts Others – (…But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming…)
All too often in churches people see others that don’t look as righteous as they, and they will often begin to pick-up rocks of judgement and criticism. They are ready to cast the first stone into the visitor’s midst without knowing the story or their situation or spiritual condition. In our text, we see that the Jews were very interested in attending the church service but they didn’t want to share their space with the Gentiles. I can imagine the Gentiles arrived to have church after being invited by Paul & Barnabas and being met but the self-righteous Jews. I can almost see their noses in the air as if they were saying “You’re beneath us”. I could almost feel the tension that the Jews held to the Gentiles. I can almost feel their hurt and pain. “We just want to worship God” as they carry out but the Jews would probably say “This is for people like us and not them”.
In most churches, when new converts enter with their evidence of sin, the church folk tend to separate themselves from this crowd. They leave “this crowd” to the preacher and the deacons until they prove themselves. This should not be so but because many people have hardened hearts they fail to see that this person is a soul loved by God. Instead they see someone that is unproven and they don’t want to invest time and resources in this this person until they show that they can be trusted. How about you? If a new person came into your church smelling like cigarette smoke and alcohol, would you run from them or draw nearer to them?
So what should we do? To keep from being this way?
I. Focus On Jesus – Looking to Jesus and thinking about how Jesus would handle this situation will keep you from saying or doing something that would hurt another person. I would hate to be the one person that offended a young Christian and caused them to return back to a life of iniquity. What are you focused on?
II. Follow The Leading Of The Man Of God – If the man of God is reaching out to a particular people or race, then you should support the man of God. If he is good enough to listen to on Sundays then he is good enough to follow during the week or when he makes a decision. Do you follow the man of God when it’s good for you, or do you ignore him when it’s not good for you?
III. Fellowship With The People That Have Came In To Worship – Sometimes people don’t really understand where people come from or their culture or beliefs. Most of the time people come into church because of respect for Him or they know that they need help. You could be the person that can help them in their issue when no one else could. Fellowshipping forces you to ask questions and hopefully listen and address their needs in love. Do you spend time fellowshipping with those that no one else speaks to? Do you fellowship with those that are regulars and others like yourself? If so, do not the Pharisees and the Publicans? Where do you fit?
Being Hypo-Critical can only hurt others and make you miss an opportunity to help and heal others. Would Jesus ignore and isolate those new faces? Would Jesus approach them and befriend them? Think about this for a minute: All of the disciples were strangers to Jesus in the human sense. He said “come” and they all followed. Why? Could it be because He wasn’t Hypo-Critical or judgmental? What about you? If new people came into your church, would they see you as approachable or would they say “They are too good for me” or “They’s Very Arrogant”? I hope that you will allow Jesus to guide you as you deal with God’s people and yourself. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.