I'm a Recovering Pharisee

Pharisee, legalism, elitism
My good friend Jan calls herself a “recovering Pharisee.” 

Like Jan, I’ve also gone through legalistic, self-righteous stages in my Christianity, stages I’d like to forget and not repeat.

Our human tendency is toward self-righteousness, bigotry and snobbery. It shows itself in the form of:
  • LEGALISM--I’m a better Christian than you because I DO this or I don’t DO that.
  • ELITISM—My doctrine is the only correct way to look at an issue on which genuine, Bible-believing Christians have long disagreed.
  • FEAR—Evil and heresy are around every corner. Judge everyone and everything guilty of something.
But God says:
"stop passing judgment on one another…make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification…Accept one another..." Romans 14:13,19; 15:7

It's one thing to speak the truth in love. It's quite another to be self-righteous.

I’ve been there and done that…and, like Jan, I don't want to go back.
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2012

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  1. Hi Gail - I love that, a recovering pharisee! So true. We should think of ourselves as the least and maybe we wont fall into that trap so often. Great post. God bless and have a great weekend

  2. Hi Gail,

    I'm amused that you chose Romans as the verse for your illustration as it was written by Paul--a recovering Pharisee. I've become a follower of your blog. Mine is Manifest Blog if you're interested.

    God Bless!

    1. I hadn't actually made that connection! : ) I appreciate you pointing it out. Paul is the most well-known recovering Pharisee!

  3. I love that - recovering pharisee! so, so true.

  4. I like this post - and that bible verse is always a good reminder! thanks for the comment on my blog - i appreciate it!

  5. I am a recovering Pharisee... The longer I walk with Christ, the more I can identify when I am slipping into those old thought patterns. This is good because I don't want them in my heart. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. :) love this. I think we are all.

  7. righteous judgement is important - we're called to sharpen each other and expose sin in one another's lives in a loving way, but it's awful how quickly i can go from the right attitude to the wrong attitude! no one will see the genuine love of God in me if i'm looking down on them. it quickly disables me from having a servant heart and places wall between the other person and I, which hinders God's ability to use me in their lives {and vice versa}! thank you for the reminder and encouragement!


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