In Other Words....am I a Pharisee?

I love the quote Amy is asking us to ponder today!

“A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself,

but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.”
by A.W.Tozer

I love this! Oh, how Jesus was so MAD at the Pharisees of His day. They continued to burden people with rule after rule to follow while ignoring rules themselves. (Matthew 15:1-9) He calls them hypocrites and says, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men."

Pharisees want to follow the rules without offering grace. Jesus said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Matthew 12:7) It is so much easier to look out "there" and see Christians who are messing up or who are not living out the Word perfectly. We can say, "Look! The Word tells us to do this and they are doing THAT!"

While we want to encourage one another in the faith, we are NOT to be the Holy Spirit for others! When God convicts US of something, it is NOT our "job" to impose it on others. I openly share my trials and what God is teaching ME and convicting ME of. Often other women share with me that the Holy Spirit convicted them of the same because of my testimony. But, it is the Holy Spirit who does the work!

That's why I love this Tozer quote!

"When we are hard on ourselves," we are looking at our own faults, seeking to follow Christ, picking up our own cross, allowing the Lord to shape, mold, and refine us, NOT telling others to pick up their crosses.

It is a fine line because we see Paul admonish the churches through his letters and challenge Believers. And, we are called to speak the Truth (and here is the key!) IN LOVE. What are our motives? Are we being self-righteous, "holier than thou"? Or, is our motive a genuine, loving concern for someone. Sometimes God calls us to lovingly approach other believers about sinful behavior. Last year, after MUCH prayer, I talked to a good friend about a sin she was caught in. It was wonderful and she knew that I loved and cared about her- in fact, loved her enough to be tuthful with her! But, it was GOD who led me and gave me the words and prepared her heart in advance.

So, as I ponder Tozer's quote, I am challenged to look at my own heart, asking God to search ME and refine me. And, as I openly and honestly share these situations with others, sometimes it will challenge, encourage, and inspire them to do the same.


This quote reminded me of another favorite quote.
"A child needs your love the most when she deserves it the least."
Lord, may I never be a pharisee to those around me, especially my children!


10 thoughts shared....:

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

I do love the idea you bring out: that we are NOT the Holy Spirit. I often hear my husband say, "I'm sure of two things. There is a God. And you are not Him." Amen!

You are so correct when you bring out the difficulty of speaking the Truth in Love. Not easy in today's world. . . . and as a MOM, I love how you conclude the whole thing! Thank you.

Kindest Thoughts,
-esthermay

Laurie Ann said...

Powerful thoughts on this powerful quote! I loved it, too. We must always speak the truth in love. Thank you for that reminder.

Power Up Love said...

I like this quote, "I openly share my trials and what God is teaching ME and convicting ME of. Often other women share with me that the Holy Spirit convicted them of the same because of my testimony. But, it is the Holy Spirit who does the work!

Would you please consider sharing your testimony at www.PowerUpLove.com?

Blessings...

Patricia said...

"And, as I openly and honestly share these situations with others, sometimes it will challenge, encourage, and inspire them to do the same."

I hope this is the way I come across also. I tend to try to be open when I write...I pray that God will stay my hand if ever it drifts toward being critical of others instead of being kind and helpful.

Thanks for sharing your heart today, Tracy.

MiPa said...

Motivation for speaking out or into a situation is so important. The same message can be spoken by two people but the motivation behind it will determine whether or not I hear it as judging or refining. Bless you for sharing today.

Michele Williams said...

As a pastor's wife, too many keep problems to themselves. Our church family need to see that we are just like them... we have problems too.... I had one elder say I was "transparent". I didn't know how to take that at first until another time he said that it was refreshing to have a "real" pastor's wife for a change. He said, "warts and all".... I feel that if we are following Christ then we should not be ashamed of following the lead of the Holy Spirit. We should not be afraid to show ourselves - because in turn we are revealing Christ and what he can do for each of us.

Thanks for the great post.

Lynnette Kraft said...

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...each one I read brings on a new thought and a new meditation. After I read yours I had this thought. What would life be like if we just read the word of God, meditated on the word of God and shared the word of God, in an excited, loving way - related to OUR lives? Can you imagine how much room we would give the Holy Spirit to work while we just got out of the way.

I know there is a time when we should confront sin, etc. but we seem to go to far, too often. Judging a situation is wise and biblical - confronting a situation is necessary on occasion and judging a heart is non-existent for us. That's God department.

The Holy Spirit is so capable - why don't we trust Him to work in the hearts and lives of Christians?

Thanks so much for your thoughts on this quote.

Have a a beautiful afternoon.
Lynnette
PS Your blog is very nice. I have some more buttons you can add on my blog if you want more! :) You have a wonderful variety.

Denise said...

I love this, bless you.

Karen said...

Fantastic ending to a good post. That is my prayer as well. Thanks

Ava Semerau said...

Big difference between picking up our own cross and demanding that others pick up theirs! Thanks for pointing it out!

AVA <><