Am I a Pharisee?

Most people would agree that today we are in “choppy waters”—lots of waves of unrest and insecurity, lots of chaos, lots of loud sounds of conflicting ideas, harsh voices shouting fears, deep divisions . . .
definitely, choppy waters.

I keep wondering why some others I see are acting in ways I don’t understand,
responding with over-the-top anger,
insults, judgements . . .
and I kept wondering til I came to,
who am I in all of this?

Since my background is heavily Judeo-Christian, my thoughts jump to the Bible and the well-worn slogan “what would Jesus do?” I wore as a bracelet for years. Jesus lived during a time of chaos and some then were rebelling against the current situations they perceived as
“evil” and oppressive.

The government was the Roman Empire with “figurehead” local leaders put in place to maintain pax Romana at all costs and the Jews had Herod, an Edomite, who was not considered a Jew but could be touted as one strictly speaking by the Romans.

The “governing body” to a certain degree was the priestly class who ruled on a limited basis with very little real power but could push the Romans to act with threats of disruption of peace among the Jews and, in some cases, it worked to get them what they wanted—the arrest of Jesus.

In my studies, I found no real criticism by Jesus of the Romans, but I did find a good amount of words he spoke against the scribes and Pharisees—religious leaders.

So, that seemed like a good place to start to review what I would NOT want to find within myself. I wanted to ask me the hard questions and find out if Jesus were here today, would HE say I was a Pharisee?

JESUS in Matthew 23 calls attention to the Pharisees
(1) holding positions of religious authority in the community,
do I think I KNOW all God has said?
that I have THE truth infallibly? that I
understand and can explain God and
His actions? that I speak for God?

(2) concern for outward recognition and honor,
do I want to be recognized and
appreciated for my contributions,
maybe even enjoying an occasional honor—do I feel slighted when I am
not recognized?

(3) enthusiasm for making converts,
do I have an outward focus – believing
I have to make others adhere to
THE truth as a way of “converting” them
without intense SELF examination?

(4) emphasis on observing the legalistic minutia of the law.
have I come to identify those who do
not agree with me on THE truth as “lost” and, therefore, my enemies? do I
believe my interpretations or those of someone I follow are THE truth—
NO exceptions?

Do I lack the compassion Jesus seemed to indicate the Pharisees lacked because, like them, I focus on a legalistic approach to THE truth . . . MY truth, MY way?

Am I a Pharisee?
Perhaps I need to think about these
questions a little more before I answer.

About Jeanne

a work in progress . . . God's grace has brought me through many traumas of varying intensities and I am alive today (both physically & spiritually) because of Him and His work: "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus"-Philippians 1:6. My childhood was spent living in many places in the United States due to my family's music or ministry—The Hicks Family, made up of Olan & Barbara Hicks, my younger brothers, Clint & Chuck & me, sang in different combos (put out an album), does so no longer professionally . . . but, visit a family gathering in Searcy & you're bound to hear some foot-tapping sounds (or catch my dad & mom on the road)! I believe that every moment of each life path (the good & what I perceive as the bad) God works together for my good as His child whether I understand it or not. MUSIC and MINISTRY are still primary aspects of the path God has me walking—so exciting! Words that have encouraged me since 1980: ". . . giving them a garland instead of ashes,The oil of gladness instead of mourning,The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting So they will be called oaks of righteousness,The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." Isaiah 61:3
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