Recovering Pharisee-Step 9

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

 Step 9:  We are seeking through prayer and meditation to make a conscious effort to consider others better than ourselves.

     If we make the things that we excel in, even for one moment, the defining moments of our lives, we may get a false sense of our importance.  And if we use this expertise as proof of our worth, we are only getting part of the story.  Pharisees cast blame; recovering Pharisees take blame.  Jesus would have taken it.  That is what His cross was all about.  Prov 16:2; 1 Cor 15:9; 4:4-5; Luke 18:9-14; Matt 23:23-39

     Instead of putting people down, we put them up, and we do this by taking a secondary, supportive role to those around us.  This is not a false groveling humility; it is a way of considering others that elevates them.  It’s all about learning to appreciate those around us and giving validity to their opinions and points of view.  There’s one sure way to consider other people as better than yourself and that is to truly believe that they are.  Because you see yourself as the “least of the least,” the other guy is always better than you.  Another way to do this is to see other people not as what they are but as what they could be in Christ.  When we see others as they could be in Christ, we are creating an environment for it to be so.   Phil 2:3-4; 4:8; 1 Cor 1:27; 12:18-27; 13:4-7;

     If a Pharisee wants to recover, a good place to begin would be to look up to those he or she formerly would have judged.  Jonah 3-4; Matt 18:4-7, 23-35


4 thoughts on “Recovering Pharisee-Step 9

  1. I guess I am more in the habit of trying to avoiding comparisons.

    Not sure the full context of Paul’s message in Philippians 3. Certainly seems plain enough. Not quite seeing it in the context of how Jesus lived his life. Jesus did say that whoever is greatest among us, shall be our servant. And undoutedly, we should not esteem ourselves higher than we actually are.

    Maybe Paul’s context was to give reverence to or to defer to others in this way. Treat others as if they were better. Hard to say.

    Jesus own words in Matt 22… Love your neighbour as yourself…. seems to put us all on pretty even ground.

    I dont mean to split hairs or debate scripture. Just saying I am not quite seeing it. Certainly a safer place to be to consider others more highly than ourselves.

    Will float it out to God and believe for guidance, understanding, enlightenment.



    • That’s all we can do. Somethings become clearer to us as we travel on the road.

      And I don’t mean to say that I have arrived, but I just wanted to give you my insights.

      Keep the faith and continue sharing with us.


  2. I am a little lost here. How is it that we should consider others better than ourselves? Why should we rank at all. Can we not just consider that we exist and they exist and leave it at that?

    I do not consider others better than me. I have no basis to make a comparison. This should not stop me though from considering others for the positive atributes more than their shortcomings. But better? I am not seeing it.



    • Philippians 2:3 says
      Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

      This is the word of God–not the author of this book telling us this.

      This is one of the times where God confounds the wise in their craftiness. The logic of this world will always be a hindrance to having the mind of Christ. We often can be found having a carnal way of thinking that we call common sense that hinders us from being transformed into His image, including a transformation in the way we think and rationalize things.

      1 Cor 3:18-20; Isa 55:8-9; Prov 14:12-13

      There comes a time in all of our lives (and it comes more than once) when we really have to ask ourselves, “Do I believe everything in the Bible, or just the parts that make me feel all warm and cozy and that help me to achieve my own goals”?

      Philippians 2:4-6
      Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God

      The old saints used to say, “The way up is down… Humble is the way”. The only way to God is to be humble. Beloved, there is a difference between humility and low self-esteem.

      Low self-esteem shows a lack of security in who God says we are and The One who controls our life. The insecure cannot afford to decrease so that someone else may increase. The insecure base their self-worth on their own ability and achievements and will often view the ability and achievements others as a threat to how they see themselves, how they compare to others (which 2 Cor 10:12-13 tells us is not good), what they have, or what they could possibly obtain.

      Esteem is defined as to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration.

      Humility allows us to do this because you know who you are and you are secure it because it is not based on the whims, fashions, trends, or dictates of the world. You are not trying to keep up with The Jones who are in fact, trying to keep up with The Smiths, who are trying to keep up with The Andersons. Crazy, right?

      When you have the proper esteem for self, you are humble and you strive to view others in favorable light and encourage and edify them because it never takes away from who I am or what I have because The Holy One of Israel controls my blessings.

      John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. How can we lay down our lives for the sake of the Gospel if we cannot even lay down our egos? This is one of the strongest strongholds of the enemy.

      We say, “I will give The Lord my body, but my way of thinking, no, that is mine to do with as I will. I have a right to my own thoughts”.

      But The Word of God also says…

      For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

      What part of our lives are we trying to save for ourselves and not turn over to God for review and approval? He already knows and is just waiting for us to lay it all on the altar. Once the consuming fire, that is Our God, has His way, we will not be the same. Dead people don’t complain.

      For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25

      For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

      Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

      Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4

      Be encouraged, my brother. This is a death walk. But The Lord gives us the joy to make it through to Glory.


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