Monday, March 25, 2013

The Pharisee in Me

I see things in black and white.

I'm a firstborn. I'm Type A. And possibly a little bit of a control freak.  Okay - a LOT of a control freak.

I think right is right and wrong is wrong and I like things a certain way.

I see this in my motherhood. I see this in my Christian walk.

I like my girls to act a certain way and to look a certain way.  I know that's ridiculous but I am admitting that I try to make them follow my "rules".   Some are dumb.  Like wearing clothes I pick out with bows in their hair.

Sometimes it's been two weeks since their birthday and they STILL insist on wearing a birthday crown even to the gym and Wal-Mart and I have to realize - life is short.  They should wear crowns.  And I should be okay with that.

BUT I still am very rigid often in my faith.  And that's not always a bad thing.  I DO believe there are ABSOLUTE truths in the Bible and I'm so bothered by today's Christian culture who is trying to water everything down to make everything okay and everything is acceptable and I don't agree with that. The Bible is God's inherent word and I believe it to be true.

But I find myself expecting people who don't even know Jesus to act like Him and follow His word. And I even get angry when they don't.  How is that fair?

I was watching "The Bible" last night and I saw something I didn't like.  I have loved watching this series.  I love seeing scripture come to life.  And I LOVE the way Jesus has been portrayed. I was thinking to myself "How could you NOT love Jesus?"

And that's when it hit me.

The thing I didn't like.  AT all.

I find myself acting a WHOLE lot more like a Pharisee most of the time and hardly ever like Jesus.

Jesus spoke the truth of the Bible. YES.  In fact - if He got up and preached in most of the churches in America today - they would run Him out.  There would be people all up in arms and writing articles left and right about how judgemental and close minded He is.

But Jesus did something else.  He loved people.  He loved the unloveable.  He loved people who couldn't give him anything or do anything for Him in return.  He helped the poor.  He helped the sick. He touched the lepers who no one else wanted to be near.  He ate dinner with crooks and prostitutes.  And they followed Him.  They were changed because He showed them love.  He spoke the truth into their lives in love.

His Christianity was a radical Christianity.  It's not one that most of us practice today.

But we should.

He wore a crown on His head too.  But it wasn't a birthday crown. It wasn't a crown He wanted. It was a crown of thorns that He wore to take our shame and sin and die for us.

Because He loved us.


And He didn't die for us so we could sit around debating theology or checking marks on one another to see who is holy enough or not.  Judging who has the worst sin.

He died so we could spend eternity with Him.  And so we could know Him and make Him known.  So we could share the good news of Him in LOVE to ALL THE EARTH! Not just the cute people in stylish clothes.  Or the families that drive SUV's.  Or the people in the posh neighborhoods.  He loves all people. He loves all of us DESPITE our sin.

Shouldn't we do the same?

I'm just writing this to myself.  I'm sure most of you aren't this way.

But I hope I can start being a whole more like Jesus and whole lot less like the Pharisees.

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