Summary: A message on relationships and dating that I taught at least once a year during ten years of singles ministry. How to identify the true colors of "Spiritual Chameleons."
II Cor. 5:17-19
Here in South Carolina we have a small lizard that is a chameleon. It can change its appearance to blend in with the environment. If it in the grass, it turns green. If it is climbing up the side of your brick home, it turns reddish brown. It uses this ability to change its color to protect itself and blend in unnoticed.
Definition of a “Spiritual Chameleon” - A spiritual chameleon is a person who pretends to be something they are not. A spiritual chameleon changes their color to present the image of what they think you want to see. You will find them in any church, ministry, or singles group.
At some point, we all want to present an image of being something we aren’t – more wise – more understanding – more spiritual. We try to hide our pride and rebellion.
When Christians use the colors of a relationship with Christ as a tool to manipulate other believers, the church ceases to be a haven from the world.
In order for a Christian to maintain effectiveness in the world, we must maintain integrity in our relationship with Christ and with others.
Tonight I want to talk about some of the different types of Spiritual Chameleons and about how to strengthen integrity in a relationship. My main emphasis however will be on the last type of Chameleon, the Romantic Chameleon, because that is the most dangerous and destructive to Singles.
1. The Fellowship Chameleon
This person steals from people their time, their prayer life, and their dedication in the guise of Christian friendship. – They have little or no true desire for a deeper spiritual relationship. They like being around Christians because we are open and accepting.
Illustration – A good friend of mine took a job at a car wash owned by a “good” Christian. He would put scripture verses and sayings on his marquee. On the job he would swear like a sailor and treat his employees like slaves. He would manipulate their time cards to cheat them out of any wages he could. – BUT – When the preacher came by it was “Praise the Lord”. He would turn on the piety. He would hide his true colors.
2. The Leadership Chameleon
This person likes being in the forefront. They care more about being a leader than they do about people. The often try to impress people with their gifts or abilities.
This might be the Pastor, the televangelist, the Singles leader, ect. - Who uses and manipulates people for the purpose of building something. He dislikes being under anyone’s authority. – He is the authority and you better not challenge him.
Illustration – Leader who stands up and tells his people, “God has opened the door for us to purchase this piece of property for only $XXX and at only 7% interest. We must purchase this. Six months later he comes back and tells his people, “It is a sin to pay this interest. It’s God’s will to pay it off. Sell your TV’s and your jewelry and give the money to the Lord.” He keeps his jewelry and his TV.
No real “servant’s heart”’
This is doing and leading more than having a close relationship with the Lord.
3. The Financial Chameleon
This is the person who uses the church to make money. They go to church to make contacts in order to build their business. They use their identification as a Christian and their relationship with Christians for financial gain. It might be investments – cosmetics – home cleaning products, ect. Is it wrong to do business with your Christian friends? – No it is not. What is wrong might be the motive behind it.
Illustration - I once joined a church and within a few days I received a letter from one of the members seeking to sell me insurance. The ink wasn’t even dry on my membership card. I rarely saw this person at church.
What should you do if you have a business or are involved in sales? When I was involved in sales, I never told people what I did or where I worked unless they asked me. I only did business with them if they sought me out. They were the initiators and not me. It’s about integrity.
4. The Romantic Chameleon
Of all the Chameleons in the ministry forest this is perhaps the most dangerous to the Singles Ministry.
I repeat - When Christians use the colors of a relationship with Christ as a tool to manipulate other believers, the church ceases to be a haven from the world.
The romantic chameleon has the ability to anesthetize the person with the emotional drug of romantic love, and then surgically cut into every area of the victim’s life.