To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Recovering Pharisee

My name is Denise Jones and I'm a pharisee.

We have all heard the phrase "once an alcoholic always an alcoholic." For me it is "once a pharisee always a pharisee." I have seen pharisee defined as "a self righteous, hypocritical person."  I have read about the pharisees in scripture and found I resemble them more than the man they pointed fingers at- Jesus.

Yet, inspite of myself, God is so good and so gracious. He loves me, and is shaping, molding, moving, humbling, and revealing Himself and His ways to me. I am undeserving.

Still here is the ugly truth- I am good at pointing fingers, at aiming to be better than others, at building myself up, at following lists, formulas, or a moral code.

I am not good at humility, at being less, at not winning approval, at grace.

I wish recovery was like cleaning a closet. I could get it done in a day, and toss all the unwearable items.  Unfortunately,  it is more like putting on something you haven't worn in a while, feeling comfortable in it at first, and later, in the right mirror, and the right Lighting, discovering it's not flattering.

I have had to recognize that the Jesus I followed for so many years, looks little like the Jesus that is. That the Jesus I thought I resembled looks very little like Jesus.
I want to know Jesus. I want to be humble; less as others are more. I want to rest in the knowledge that I am enough to my Maker.  I want to extend the grace that has been given to me (which is A LOT!) to others.


I'm Tara. said...

Wow. Amazing! Your honesty is so appreciated, Denise. What time is the recovery meeting? I don't want to be late!! :) You're right - He is SO good. Striving to be what He is to us in the lives of others -- what a wonderful thing.

Mari said...

What a great post. I am a pharisee too and could use a recovery meeting!

Jennifer Partin said...

Loved the post---aren't we all Pharisee's in some form or another?
God have mercy on me, a sinner!!

Renee said...

It's interesting how God works. The word Pharisee came to my mind (about myself) just this morning. I was feeling very frustrated with myself because of something I did that I shouldn't have. Just when I think I'm doing so well, and loving Him the way I think I should, I get reminded of how human I am. How human we all are.

Thank God that His grace and mercy are extravagant, and are enough to cover us even when we act like Pharisees!

Earen said...

I completely understand as God must be working on both of our hearts in this area...saying or knowing one thing & doing another. I just blogged about this the other day & it's very convicting. You said it all in such depth of insight & so beautifully...I guess God is wanting me to keep thinking about it. Thank you for the reminder Denise.

Denise said...

Hmmmm, thanks for understanding. thanks for mercy.
you help me to give myself mercy.

i wonder what a recovering pharisee meeting would look like?? church.

BethAnne said...

Should I bring cookies or something to the meeting? Maybe the group should be called P.A. Pharisees Anonymous.......good thing there isnt a 12 step recovery program - I think its just a 2 step program......Ask forgiveness and turn from the sin. Thank you for your post! I need to read this one everyday.

Sarah Markley said...

I'll be at Mari's recovery meeting too!

Nicole said...

See at the P.A. meeting ! I think we all needed to be reminded that we were the ones who put Jesus on the cross, but He died on it for us ! Some times it makes you stand back and say "WOW", He loves me that much !!