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Real Ones: Why People Don’t Go To Church

God wants us to be our real selves.

One of the worst cultures we can create in our families and communities is one in which everyone feels a collective peer pressure to put on a mask in an effort to appear to be someone we’re not.

God wants us to be our real selves. When we decide not to hide what’s really going on inside, it becomes a lot easier to see our sins and weaknesses as merely obstacles to overcome instead of defining traits.

Creating environments where people are free to be themselves without fear of judgment is key to making the church attractive to the world. Join Russ and Mike as they discuss how our relationship with God should make us real, and how to overcome the hypocrisy that gets in our way.

References

Scriptures read

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. [16] In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. [4] On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. [5] You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. [6] We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.

1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 NIV

Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Luke 12:1 NIV

O LORD, who may lodge [as a guest] in Your tent? Who may dwell [continually] on Your holy hill? [2] He who walks with integrity and strength of character, and works righteousness, And speaks and holds truth in his heart. [3] He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

Psalm 15:1-3 AMP

The Niceness Mask

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. [16] By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? [17] Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. [18] A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. [19] Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 7:15-20 NIV

The Goodness Mask

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ [23] Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

The Flattery Mask

A hypocrite hides hate behind flattering words. [25] They may sound fine, but don’t believe him, because his heart is filled to the brim with hate. [26] He may disguise his hatred, but everyone will see the evil things he does.

Proverbs 26:24-26 GNT

Gossip is so delicious, and how we love to swallow it! For slander is easily absorbed into our innermost being. [23] Smooth talk can hide a corrupt heart just like a pretty glaze covers a cheap clay pot. [24] Kind words can be a cover to conceal hatred of others, for hypocrisy loves to hide behind flattery. [25] So don’t be drawn in by the hypocrite, for his gracious speech is a charade, nothing but a masquerade covering his hatred and evil on parade. [26] Don’t worry—he can’t keep the mask on for long. One day his hypocrisy will be exposed before all the world.

Proverbs 26:22-26 TPT

The Sinlessness Mask

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. [28] In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Matthew 23:27-28 NIV

How to take off the mask

God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. [2] Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again. [3] I know about my wrongs, and I can’t forget my sin. [4] You are the only one I have sinned against; I have done what you say is wrong. You are right when you speak and fair when you judge. [5] I was brought into this world in sin. In sin my mother gave birth to me.

Psalm 51:1-5 NCV
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