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The Lamborghini isn’t the problem

Pastor John Gray preaches at Relentless Church, Nov. 25, 2018.
Pastor John Gray preaches at Relentless Church, Nov. 25, 2018. | Screenshot: Relentless Church

I don’t own a Lamborghini. I own a Chevy truck that is just starting to show some rust. I don’t have a deal for a program on Oprah’s network, nor do I get invited to speaking gigs that pay thousands of dollars.

Yet I can identify with John Gray, who made the news recently for gifting his wife a Lamborghini for their 8th anniversary with money he made from a variety of income streams.

I gave my wife a car two years ago. It was a used Toyota and I gave it to her for her birthday. I even bought the upgraded model. Problem is she wasn’t thrilled, because she already needed a car and I was trying to double-dip by giving it to her for her birthday. Not sure what I would do if I had the jack to buy a Lamborghini. And you don’t either. I can identify with John and I think you can, too.

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These days, it feels like our favorite past time is finding faults in others and celebrating them. Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Does the perceived hypocrisy make us feel like our hypocrisy is of a lesser potency? Or do we simply have too little going on in our lives to stimulate our imagination? All we can do is look at someone else and think, “How can they be so stupid?” I don’t think John Gray is stupid. I also don’t think he is hypocritical.

A couple weeks ago he told people in his church to come forward and take money out of the offering if they were in need. Have you done that recently with the receipts from your business, even if it caused you to not be paid? If we like the idea of giving away money, but we haven’t done it ourselves, then we are hypocrites. Have we ever bought something we couldn’t afford? Hypocrites. Have we stretched ourselves to buy an upgraded model with features we didn’t really need? Hypocrites. Is there anyone still living and getting an education in the world because of our giving? Hypocrites. Have we been able to have a successful eight-year marriage, and are our spouses feeling our lavish love? Hypocrites.

The thing about hypocrisy is that you have to be perfect to avoid it. We all fall short of the standards and goals God has for us, and we certainly fall short of the expectations of the social media crowd piling on any misstep.

Full disclosure: I know John personally. I baptized him 15ish years ago at the church I started. He is a good and Godly man and I wish I had known the true gift he was and leveraged him more.

But this isn’t about defending John. If you stop listening to his teaching, that is fine. If people leave his church because they don’t trust him, that is their choice. This is about recognizing a problem we all have, which his recent tension puts a spotlight on.

Jesus said we shouldn’t take the speck out of someone else’s eye before we take the log out of our own eye. Let’s get real, we all have problems in our lives. One thing I know for sure, when the wrong person at the wrong time takes a video of any of us and posts it on Instagram, the masses will weigh in at our expense. How about we be the ones who choose to take Jesus’ words seriously and live on a higher level.

Brian Tome is Senior Pastor of Crossroads Church, which has campuses in Ohio and Kentucky.

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