Your Inner Pharisee
Read: Mark 2:18
John’s disciples and the Pharisees
If you were to make a reasonable evaluation of your faith, how would you describe yourself? Would you say:
I attend church regularly.
I pray daily.
I read the bible.
I give to my local church.
I worship at my church.
I serve in a ministry.
I do good things for others.
I am liked and respected by ones who know me.
I know others who have greater struggles than me.
I respect moral boundaries.
I distance myself from idolatry.
I do not drink excessively.
I have good kids.
I keep a close watch over my bad habits.
I feel I'm on good terms with God.
Most likely, any of us would say that's a general and decent description of a faithful follower of God. In fact, most of the people we know and work with would say that’s true of them as well.
Would it shock you to know that this list also described the most religious leaders of Jesus’ day, the Pharisees? Could it be that we are more in touch with our inner Pharisee than the life of Jesus?
Whenever I prefer appearance to reality; whenever I surrender control of my soul to rules rather than risk living in union with Jesus; when I choose to look good and not be good; when I prefer what others think of me, rather than what Jesus says about me; whenever I'm obsessed with gaining honor, power and the pursuit to enhance my image in the eyes of others; whenever my focus is on personal effort and achievement, I'm giving in to the Pharisee within me. If I continue on this path, my spiritual growth will come to an end. But life in the Spirit is the thrill of falling in love. For wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
Believe this today: God loves you because He has chosen to love you.