The Damage of Hypocrisy

Series: Deconstruct | Reconstruct | Week 5: What About the Oppression of Minorities, Women, and Others?

Read Galatians 2:11-16 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. Why did Paul oppose Peter?
2. What was the result of Peter’s actions?
3. What was Paul’s response to Peter’s actions?

Jewish Christians had imposed rules on Gentiles, and today we see Paul confront the issue more directly. One of his fellow missionaries, Peter, wouldn’t even eat with Gentiles, and his hypocrisy led other believers away from the truth. Paul acknowledged the damage caused by Peter’s hypocrisy and reminded the Galatians that they were made right with God because of their faith in Christ, not because of laws they obeyed.

To represent Christ authentically, we have to acknowledge times when people who have called themselves Christians have been oppressive to others, both in the past and the present. Hypocrisy causes damage, not only to those who don’t know Jesus but to those who are following Him and are susceptible to getting swept into hypocrisy themselves.

The perception in our culture is that Christians create damage and pain, that they don’t help people; they only divide. What if our lives represented something different? What if we acknowledged the pain caused by those who have claimed to be Christians? What if we modeled Christ by seeking to help people and communities flourish, regardless of social labels or ethnicity?

Have you ever been judged or excluded because of someone’s behavior who claimed to be a Christian? How does today’s reading change your perception of God’s true heart for you?
Have you ever been the one to avoid or exclude someone else, perhaps because of a label or perception you had of them? Have you confessed it to God?
What is an action step you can take this week to acknowledge any pain caused to others and/or to authentically model Christ to the people and community around you?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Want to go deeper? Visit the Traders Point app or this link to see our recommended resources for this week’s topic. If you want to catch Sunday’s message again, you can find it here.

Deconstruct | Reconstruct