I recently read an article about “Modern Day Pharisees.” About how we as Christians can get so caught up in “rules” and “laws” and can sometimes lose sight of our greatest calling; to LOVE. To love God and to love everyone else.
In the Bible, the Pharisees were religious teachers, essentially the leaders of the church back then. They were so caught up in society following the laws and regulations of the church and became so corrupt and detached from God’s truth, that they didn’t even recognize the Messiah when they met him. In fact, they despised Him. Imagine that. They were face to face with Jesus, and couldn’t even see that He was indeed the one they had been waiting for. Quite frankly, it seems to me like they didn’t really want the Messiah to come just yet. To threaten their authority. They were judgemental and showy. Even Jesus called them hypocrites.
We’ve come a long way since the Pharisees, except that sometimes, In some ways, it seems like we haven’t. As believers, we definitely need to set boundaries. Some personal, some biblical. It’s important to stick to those boundaries. However, we run into problems when these boundaries turn into pedestals that we put ourselves on to judge from. “I do this so you should too.” “The Bible says this so you can’t ever fall short.” “That’s a sin, shame on you.” That sounds a lot like Pharisee behavior if you ask me. The church is under so much pressure, especially right now, and many people label all Christians as hypocrites. I’m gonna come right out and say that if we aren’t careful, we CAN become hypocrites. I cant speak for all believers but as for me, that is NOT my intention. Becoming a “modern day Pharisee” is so scary to me. I don’t ever want to get SO caught up in my boundaries that I forget to love people. I’m proud to say that nearly all the Christians I know personally have love at their center. However, the media depicts Christians standing on the side of the road holding signs with derogatory, condemning and vulgar words and phrases toward people who believe differently. THAT is what losing sight of the truth and love of Christ looks like.
The easiest thing for me to do to “check myself” is to simply think of Christ. What did He do? Who did He hang out with? What did He commission us to do?
We ALL need Christ. We ALL sin. We need Him as much on our best day as we did on our worst. We need Him as much as anyone else does.