Recovering Pharisee-Step 5

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

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


2 thoughts on “Recovering Pharisee-Step 5

  1. Yes, with judging off our plate, we now have more time to devote to loving, interceeding for others, and keeping our oneself unspotted from the world.
    That takes up all of my time. If not, there must be some little foxes destroying the vine by using up my time playing God.
    Thank you for your wonderful and insiteful comments.

  2. Your first sentance says a lot to me… “so subtle the way this hypocricy creeps in”.

    That it does. It is so easy. None of us imune. And in my experiences, our church cultures so often support this behaviour.

    I practice the 12 steps in my life. Which includes takeing a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. Even having done so a few times, and being around it all the time, and helping others to do so, it is still a temptation to take the inventory of others. It must be part of our human condition. This surely is nothing new or simple.

    Yet with constant effort, practice, discipline, we do learn new ways to think and behave. For me, turning my judgementalism over to God and believing him to bring me the solutions and enlightenment, is the only way I can make any lasting change.

    The effort I make is the take responsibility for the little amount that God gives me to do. And to repent when I am wrong. Then follow the guidance that comes to me to learn something new.

    But what a relief. What an un-burdoning to turn the weight of judgement over. To stop taking responsibility for the judgement of others. It should never have been ours to begin with but somehow we adopt it.

    Instead, turn the mirror on ourselves and seek to become better at who we are. That is a big enough task.

    This is good stuff.



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