And how do you confront someone who is talking behind your back?
Any comic book fan would remember one of Batman’s nemesis named Two-Face. The villain’s face was split down the center. One side was distorted and ugly, and the other side was normal. His hideous appearance wasn’t only outward but inward as well – almost like a split personality.
This picture of Two-Face leads me to really think of God’s children and how we, too, can be “two-faced” or hypocritical in our lives. We have a sin nature that we are born into and are drawn to at times. Then when we accept Jesus as our Savior we are in His righteousness by His grace.
2 Corinthians 5:21
The bible tells us to “…put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Unfortunately, we don’t always remember that we are a new creation and we make plenty of mistakes.
The question is how do we deal with others in our lives who may say one thing and do another?
Or that they act one way around us and act another around a different group of people?
First, you must check your own heart and ask yourself some questions:
- Am I a judgmental person?
- Have I been consistent in my speech and actions with everyone I encounter?
- Am I open and willing to receive instruction and correction from others?
After this self-examination, repent of any hypocrisy in your own heart. Then you are ready to deal with your brother/sister with their problem. (see Matthew 7:3-5)
Next, forgive the other person. Yes, forgive them – even before you’ve confronted them. We are commanded to “bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13).
Now, when you’re ready to confront your friend, remember to “…speak the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15) and “let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6). Tell her how you feel. Ask if you’ve done anything to hinder her from being honest with you. If so, ask for forgiveness. Don’t play the game telling her who told you what, insisting others have said things against her. Ask her for her honesty and remind her of God’s love. Find some scriptures about being two-faced or hypocritical.
Also, remember the Scriptures teach us in Matthew 12:34…
“…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to see things clearly. But if you listen and pay attention to what’s going on with your friend, you may see that she is hurt in some way. Her “two-faced” behavior could be a defense for something deeper going on in her heart. This is not to relieve her of responsibility of her sin, but to remind you to be gentle and kind when speaking to her. You may be surprised at her response to your kindness!
There is a possibility that your friend will not receive your correction. Don’t become angry or defensive. Remind her of your friendship and forgiveness. Give your relationship time for God to work on her heart and yours. Remember, you are only responsible for changing yourself – your actions and your speech. You cannot change another person. Continue to forgive her and pray for her. And make sure you don’t gossip about her to others. Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” And don’t forget that God tells us in Romans 12:18:
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
According to the Lord, we can hold our friend’s accountable for hypocrisy in their lives. Be encouraged that you have God’s Word to help you along the way in dealing with others. As you do, strive to put Ephesians 4:29 in to practice…
“make sure you speak only what is helpful in building others up.”
Andrea considers herself a blessed stay-at-home mom of three, for it allows her the time to support her husbands ministry in his role as a pastor of a local mission that feeds the needy. She also contributes directly to the mission through serving as the kids program director. Andrea’s enthusiasm for Scripture is contagious, as is her passion to spread His Good News and love. She would be the first to admit that she loves working with children and studying and teaching God’s Word, but she is equally as passionate about sharing her testimony with teenage girls and challenging them to be all that God intended. Teen girls receive Andrea with open arms because she is approachable, loving, and down to earth. Her transparency is invaluable. Andrea can also can be found in many different churches and at women’s gatherings, playing the guitar and leading worship. She is also a vital member of the More to Be team!