My husband and I have been reading through the book of Matthew together. Actually, we are reading through all of the gospels- one each month for four months, but we just finished Matthew.
I ask my husband a lot of questions when we read the bible together because we have very different perspectives (notice I did not say different beliefs). We really see things through a different lens, and I think it’s an amazing combination. The perspective I bring always challenges him, and the perspective he brings always enlightens me.
As we read through Matthew, I found that almost all of my questions to Daniel were regarding the Pharisees. I know I have read these things before, but still I find myself absolutely baffled at the behavior of the Pharisees.
I think, if I am totally honest, the reason I find myself so baffled is that as I am reading about these people of the “past” and all of their evil behaviors, something about it feels so familiar.
And then I realize it’s not really so much a “thing of the past.”
Although the Pharisees (as a group of people) don’t exist in modern times, the traits of the Pharisees are all too present. The worst part is that those traits are present among those who are “following Christ.”
These people are Modern Day Pharisees.
I am not a theologian by any means, nor will I ever claim to be, so these observations are just that. They are simplistic and perhaps childlike, and that is alright. Only the Pharisees will correct me. (Just kind of kidding).
The first characteristic of the Modern Day Pharisee is:
And the truth is, we all have at least a little bit of this in us. Some have acknowledged it and are working on it, and the others are reading this and saying, “not me.”
And that’s probably not a good sign…
The Modern Day Pharisee (MDP) is absorbed in self pride. They cannot fathom their own ability to make a mistake or do something wrong. The problem is always another person’s. And the super advanced MDP might even think it’s completely ridiculous for others to even have issues with them in the first place. The MDP is often incapable of working through conflict in a healthy manner, and would say the other person’s point of view is ridiculous, or possibly dramatic.
But the truth is, the MDP is incapable of working through conflict not because “conflict is immature,” but because they lack the self awareness required to admit they may have played a part in the dysfunction of a relationship.
The modern day Pharisee is quick to correct others, but cannot be corrected. Any rebuke is seen as a personal attack, and the MDP responds with extreme offense. The lack of humility and approachability means that the MDP is not teachable. Therefore, when interacting with a MDP, you might find yourself feeling like you are going in circles and are not getting anywhere. The MDP will often (if not always) find a way in which to combat every point with a point that puts them in the right.
The MDP would prefer to focus on the shortcomings of another person rather than looking inward to examine their own heart. The MDP is always right and can always justify their behavior. They have a very difficult time saying two words: I’m Sorry.
Because why would they have to say “I’m sorry” if they never did anything wrong?
The Modern Day Pharisee is the master of self righteousness and will defend themselves with great cause:
They would never want another to know what’s truly on the inside.
Stay tuned for Part Two.