Step 5: We will cease all attempts to apply teaching and rebuke to anyone but ourselves.
It’s so subtle the way this hypocrisy creeps in. It starts by thinking you are an expert on something—that you know more than others, at least about certain things. How do we stop this merry-go-round of condemnation? The only way is to apply the truth to ourselves. Realize that whatever we are angry about in someone else is most likely something we need to deal with in our own lives. It is easier to point the finger than to face the truth. Matt 7:2; John 5:39; 1 Cor 11:31-32; Psa 19:14
Pharisees never apply anything to themselves because they are already experts on everything. Instead of hearing what Jesus had to say, the Pharisees were only listening to prove Him wrong. There were listening for a flaw, a crack in the wall, a weakness to exploit. That was because their minds were already made up. We can’t understand how everyone can be so dumb. There is no greater obstacle to truth and revelation than to think you already know what you need to know. 1 Cor 8:2; Rom 2:17-21; Heb 5:8-14; 2 Tim 3:7;
When it comes to spiritual things, no teacher can be above being taught. We should be conscious of our own ignorance. There is a humility that comes with true knowledge. In some ways it’s like starting over. There is innocence to learning and yearning. Faith is always new. Only children get into the Kingdom of Heaven. The definition of a disciple is a learner, and there is no evidence that the disciples ever ceased being disciples. Matt 18:3; 19:14; John 8:31, 35; 15:8; 21:21-22; Acts 6:7; 13:52; 14:21-22
To avoid the pitfalls of the Pharisees, I must remember that how God works with other people is His business, not mine. My business is to follow Him. How could we learn from someone gentle and humble in heart and not end up the same way? The answer to Pharisaism is to be born again. Matt 11:28-29; Isa 26:9-10; John 3:1-21; Psa 51:12-19; Luke 22:31-32