Pastor Bryan's Blog

Small Group Discussion Guide

Steer Clear_Blog

How to Spot a Pharisee


The Bible says there are toxic people in life... individuals we ought to stay away from. How do you reconcile the fact that as Christians we are to love all people (even our enemies), with the fact that we ought to steer clear of certain individuals?


For each of the 10 traits of toxic religion (below), do the following:

  1. Look up the corresponding verse(s)
  2. Give a definition of the term
  3. Have a member of the group share an example of this toxic trait
  4. Discuss how you should address this issue (either changing your ownpersonal behavior or dealing with someone else who is practicing this trait)
  • LEGALISM (Luke 11:38; Galatians 5:1,4,13-18)
  • HYPOCRISY (Matthew 23:3)
  • GUILT-TRIPS (Matthew 23:4; Romans 8:1)
  • NITPICKING (Matthew 22:15; Matthew 12:7; Matthew 23:24)
  • MALIGN MOTIVES (Matthew 9:34)
  • GUILT BY ASSOCIATION (Luke 15:2; Luke 7:34)
  • RIDICULE (Proverbs 11:12)
  • FLATTERY (Proverbs 26:28; Romans 16:18; Proverbs 29:5)
  • INTIMIDATION (Matthew 16:1)
  • GOSSIP (Proverbs 10:18; Proverbs 20:19)


Which of these 10 traits do you struggle with the most?

What might you do this week to overcome this tendency?



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