Recovering Pharisee-Step 1

Notes from the book,
"12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)", by John Fischer

Pharisaism always seems to show up whenever righteousness is pursued in any form, at any level… This is the gospel for those courageous enough to tear off their masks of adequacy and self-righteousness and get on with a life of gratitude and love for others.  This is the Pharisee recovery group of which I speak, and these are the stops that will lead us out.

Step 1:

We realize/admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.

     Why do we like judging so much?  The act of judging gives us a subjective means of affirming ourselves.  No matter what I’ve done or how bad I am, I can always comfort myself by finding someone out there who is “worse” than I am.   Even after hearing about God’s mercy, I still err by choosing mercy for me and justice for everyone else. 

     I can’t have it both ways. If I judge even one person, I announce that judgment is the basis upon which I want everyone evaluated—myself included. 

     Faithfulness allows for failure; perfection does not.  

Luke 18:11-12; Mark 7:1, 9; Matt 23:13, 23;
Rom 5:20; Mark 2:17;  2 Pet 3:7-9

2 thoughts on “Recovering Pharisee-Step 1

  1. Wow Robin…. brutally honest stuff. I like it.

    Judgement is one of the sneakiest of behaviours and addictions. For any of us to presume we are immune to slipping into judgementalism is the exact danger point that will likely lead to our undoing. Self included. No, make that self-especially. I cannot control anyone else’s judgementalism.

    Two things that stood out in some of Jesus teaching for me. First off, the only people Jesus angrily opposed were the narrow-minded, self-righteous, religious establishment of the day. Plus of course the vendors in the temple. But even though he hung out with prostitutes and tax-collectors, he got angry at the pharisees and called them essentially “a bunch of snakes”. Presumably strong language in that culture.

    Secondly, the only thing I see resembling any condition on grace is that we dispense it equally to the way we receive it. Judge not, or you will be judged. And whatever measuring stick you use for others, will be used on you. (paraphrased).

    And yes, judgement gives us self-fulfilling significance. It makes us feel better about ourselves. Yet how contorted is this. Jesus accepts us as we are. God loves us unconditionally. But that isn’t good enough? We end up judging others as a sprinkle of surgar on top? Wow.

    Great post… I will visit again.



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