We've all got people that suck the life out of us. The Passive-Aggressive Vampire, the Victim Vampire, the Needy Vampire, the Controlling Vampire... you name it! All relationships are hard, and some are even harder than others.
Mike started our discussion about these vampires by helping us see the truth behind our vampire problems... that sometimes, the vampire is me. From a conversation with Jesus about sawdust and planks, to some wisdom from a self-proclaimed vampire in the book of Romans, we see that the antidote to dealing with our vampire problem starts here: put down the magnifying glass, and pick up the mirror.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. We passionately love Jesus, ruthlessly eliminate ego, courageously live in grace and truth, confidently know who we are in Christ, unconditionally trust God, intentionally live better stories, and selflessly extend compassion.
These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
- What are some of the characteristics of the vampires in your life? Or, what vampire are you most likely to turn into?
In Matthew 7, Jesus is near the end of his “sermon on the mount”. It’s often viewed as the most famous sermon ever, because it sets the frame of what living a life with God actually looks like. No one is perfect, so Jesus points us back to the grace and mercy of God, which gives us the power to start living out the life that God wants for us.
Read Matthew 7:1-5 together.
(1) “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (2) For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
(3) “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (4) How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (5) You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
- What stands out to you about Jesus’ thoughts on judgment and the “removal of specks” from our friends’ eyes?
- It would be very challenging to actually remove a speck of sawdust from someone’s eye… you’d have to be very close to them, and have great vision! Now picture trying to remove that speck with a literal plank of wood sticking out of your own eye… makes it harder to see that sawdust, doesn’t it? Why do you think Jesus used such an exaggerated metaphor to make his point here?
- How have you experienced what Jesus says about our tendency to be “hypocrites”, and forget the plank in our own eye?
- Mike said the truth is… we are all vampires sometimes. How have you realized the times that you "are a vampire" and "have bitten" others?
- How does realizing that you can be the vampire change how you treat the people that suck the life out of you?
- In what areas or relationships do you need to put down the magnifying glass and pick up a mirror? How can you do that practically this week?
- Over the next week, read more pieces of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount - it’s all of Matthew chapters 5 through 7. Take note of the different ways that Jesus challenges the way we normally think and act!
VAMPIRES ARE PEOPLE THAT SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF YOU.
- The Criticizing Vampire
- The Passive-Aggressive Vampire
- The Victim Vampire
- The Needy Vampire
- The Negative Vampire
- The Narcissistic Vampire
- The Controlling Vampire
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (the Apostle Paul speaking)
ATTRIBUTES OF VAMPIRES IN OUR LIFE…
- High entitlement... but low gratitude.
- Always making withdrawals... but no deposits.
- Demand their rights... but ignore their responsibilities.
- People who think their crisis... is YOUR crisis.
- Talk so much... but listen so little.
- Don’t want to put in much effort... but want awesome results.
- Those who complain about any small inconvenience.
TRUTH: SOMETIMES I'M THE VAMPIRE
(Romans 7:15) I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
(Romans 7:19) I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
(Romans 7:21) I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
(Romans 7:24) Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? (the Apostle Paul speaking)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." (Jesus speaking)
Jesus' defintion of "hypocrite"
:: Jesus used the word hypocrite to invoke the image of one stage actor wearing multiple masks, playing different characters.
:: Put down the magnifying glass.
:: Pick up the mirror.