Recovering Pharisee-Step 2

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

Step 2:   We realize/admit that we have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind.

     There are two reflections for the second step in overcoming pharisaical judgments: 

  1. Put yourself in the place of the person you are tending to judge
  2. Give them the benefit of the doubt. 

     We need to learn to see ourselves through other people’s eyes to see ourselves as we really are.  We need to be open to someone else’s perspective and, in some cases, to ask for it.  It is impossible to get another view of yourself by yourself.  It would be wise to look at the groups we travel in and see how honest they really are.  John 9:39-41; 3:1-21;

     Standing in someone else’s shoes not only changes our view of ourselves, but it also drastically changes our view of others when we see their situation from their point of view. If we truly see from someone else’s perspective, we might at least be able to understand why they do what they do instead of issuing a knee-jerk judgment of what we do not understand.  Empathy is a marvelous antidote for the tendency to judge others, and personal pain is the pathway to empathy.  It’s worth the pain to become more human–to identify with people–to join the human race.   Rom 2:1-3; Phil 2:1-3; Col 3:11-13

     Pharisees are lonely.  “Perfect” people are always lonely because no one wants to be around you; only other Pharisees.  Pharisees always protect each other from vulnerability–from being touched deeply.  They cannot empathize with anyone because they have not embraced their own shortcomings.  To empathize with someone you don’t even like is a sign that you have accepted and faced your own problems and therefore can understand how other people can be trapped by their own difficulties in life, even if they are difficulties outside your experience.    Heb 4:14-16; 2 Cor 1:3-5


2 thoughts on “Recovering Pharisee-Step 2

  1. Thank you for you very wise words. That is why this book is so powerful. It shows that within each of us, there is a Pharisee that needs to be coverted to a disciple. Pharisees have all the answers. Disciples seek the answers.
    Thank you for finding something of value in my blog. Your comments encourage me.

  2. So true and so enlightening.

    There is a long-standing observation that we tend to judge others by their actions but ourselves by our intentions.

    Yet we have no idea what goes on in the hearts or minds of others. Maybe that angry person wants so bad to break free of whatever angers him/her. But all we see is a person who we feel needs to simply get a grip. But in reality, maybe he feels trapped and has tried everything he knows. And would be desperate for a new answer.

    As the step-parent of a child who has aspergers syndrome (mild autism), I have heard some judgement by some onlookers who feel that “all he needs is __________”. Really? That easy? Show us how.

    They so often have no clue about the complexities and realities of a condition such as this. But thats ok. Others judgementalism is their own responsibility. It is only my task to deal with my own. God will not hold me accountable for how others judge me, but only for how I judge others.

    Great series… I will continue to check in.



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