You have fallen into misguided religion if you care more about tradition than the truth of God's word and you lack compassion in your pursuit of righteousness.
Do you find yourself more concerned with religious rituals and traditions than with what the Word of God says, than the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom?
Overzealous concern with religious traditions reveals self righteousness in our hearts. Have you let self righteousness and a high view of self keep you from really loving your neighbor? Have you made checking all of the boxes your righteousness?
In the passage, Jesus is moved with compassion for the woman who has lost her son. He is willing to break with social norms and religious standards to interrupt the funeral procession to minister to these people. Are you willing to cross social boundaries to love your neighbor?
The image of God invisible
The first born of all life
Before and within
He holds it all in
One name, one faith, one Christ
No one is good enough
To save himself
Awake my soul tonight
To boast nothing else
"Awake My Soul" a modern hymn by Sandra McCracken
"Redeemed To Redeem"
Austin Stone Worship
You have fallen into misguided religion if you compare yourself to others instead of to God.
1 Peter 1:13-16
When we compare ourselves to others instead of God as the standard for righteousness and holiness, we reveal our low view of sin. We tend to dismiss sin and find ways to justify ourselves. How do you tend to dismiss and justify your sin?
We often look at our sin or the appearance of our lives and feel like we do not measure up. Do you find yourself concerned with appearing to be holy to those around you? Functionally, are you living as though that your external behavior is where your righteousness is found?
We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to others in one way or another. Inevitably this leads to broken relationships and hurt people. Are there people in your life that you have compared yourself to so that you can prop up your self-righteousness? How has that affected your ability to love that person? Are there relationships you need to mend because of this?
Holy, holy, holy!
Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man
Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy;
There is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power,
In love, and purity.
"Holy, Holy, Holy!" Reginald Heber
You have fallen into misguided religion if you clean up your act but neglect your heart.
Derek Webb, a popular singer/songwriter, addressed the topic of repentance when he said, "We often believe, if we are really honest with ourselves, that the Christian life is about how well we can learn to hide our sin. I think a lot of us think that we will be able to measure the growth of our spirituality by how little we are sinning, or maybe at least how little we can convince everyone, our selves included, that we are sinning." Does this line of thought hit home for you? Is this how you view spiritual health? Take a moment and discuss what true spiritual health looks like.
In the passage, David is repenting of his sin to God, who he knows can see his sin no matter how hard he tried to cover it up. Repentance is difficult but it is both commanded in scripture and incredibly healing in the wake of our sin. Part of addressing the issues in our hearts is repenting of un-confessed or hidden sin. Are there instances of sin you have swept under the rug for the sake of outward righteousness that you need to confess? If so, be sure to address that this week with your DNA group leader, GC leader or one of the elders.
Consider Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." No amount of zeal and effort can fix our hearts. We must be made new by Jesus. Do you find yourself running on the treadmill of self righteousness, never able to do enough to please God? Has your zeal left you exhausted? What are you trusting in to make you right with God? Repent of this and trust in the righteousness freely given to you in Christ!
Gracious God, my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true.
Cast me not away from Thee,
Let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation's joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.
"God Be Merciful To Me (Psalm 51)" from the Scottish Psalter
"Search Me Know Me"