Bible Study - KEEPING IT REAL: Stripes on a Donkey

  1. What is something God has done for you that you are thankful for or are celebrating? How have you experienced God’s goodness and faithfulness?
  2. Where are you experiencing stress, anxiety or discouragement? How would you like to see God move in your life or in the life of someone close to you?
  3. What did you hear in this week’s sermon that was new or particularly interesting? Did anything stand out to you as puzzling or troubling?
  4. Read Matthew 6:1-18.  In this passage Jesus describes hypocrites as people who do good things –pray, give or fast – in front of others just to be seen by them.  Do you think there are people today who pray or fast or give just to be seen by others?  Is the way Jesus describes a hypocrite different than the way most people today understand the meaning of that word?  How? 
  5. According to Jesus, what is the downside to doing a good thing for the wrong reason(s)?
  6. Often we will call people hypocrites because they say or do a bad thing that is inconsistent with who or what they claim to be.  Chris argued that there is the difference between hypocrisy and inconsistency.  How would you distinguish the two? 
  7. Sometimes we know there is an “act of righteousness” or good thing that we need to do, but we don’t feel like doing it.  Is a person a hypocrite if they do a good thing, even though their heart is not it?  What do you think it means to say, there is a difference between posing or pretending and pursuing?
  8. Chris mentioned a couple of ways to guard against hypocrisy.  One way is to be mindful of why we are doing whatever it is we are doing.  The other way is to be mindful of who or what we are when no one else is looking.  Which of these is the most helpful for you right now?
  9. What is a simple next step you could take in obedience to what you heard this week?  Is there someone in your life who needs to hear the Good News of the Gospel? How can we join you in praying for that?