Monday, August 13, 2012

Am I an Unconscious Pharisee?

Let us constantly ask ourselves this question. Am I an Unconscious Pharisee?

Yes I tithe, attend church, participate in church activities, even say “Praise the Lord!” at the right moments and render Christianly advise ( correct facial expressions and body language follow). But did I truly worship Him in Sunday Service the other day? Did my mind wonder? Did I behold the greatness of God or was I annoyed at the other person in pew? Do I truly worship Him in all that I do when no one is watching, when I am alone in my thoughts? Do I think all is well because I tithe, attend church, participate in church activities? Do I tithe because others do or to assuage my guilt? Ask do I rest on things that appertain to true worship rather than being in a position of truly worshipping?

Perhaps I did something external, consistent with the Bible. Let’s say I helped Madam X, a recently widowed elderly lady. Did I do it with the right motives? (Pause and think) Did I do it for motives of pleasing myself, feeling good (we get a buzz from giving and helping) or looking right to people around me?  Did I help Madam X because I wanted praise and approving glances? Did I do right for the right motives? God knows my heart and your heart. We do well to examine it.

Again I may do and say all the right things and avoid all the dreadful more unacceptable sins (I do not kill, commit adultery, extort people, am not a tax collector(!)) I may even fast sometimes and go for bible study classes. Everybody thinks what a wonderful Christian I am. But when I am in the thick of life, in my dealings with others (customers, spouse, family, colleagues, suppliers, other drivers, the shopkeeper, the lady walking in front of me, the lady in the elevator, the noisy gruff man at the immigration office etc) do I watch my thoughts? Am I critical, judgemental, full of pride? Do I practice racial profiling? Do I think I know more than him? I am more refined? Or more humble? Am I easily offended (how can that person say that/do that to me?)? Do I feel happy for her when she relays her achievements to me or do I wish she fails? Am I conscious of my thoughts, making sure that they do not grieve Him? Do I say encouraging words? Do I admonish gently for the good of the other or do I keep silent  so as not to look bad to this other? Do I shut off, waiting only to say what I want to say? Or do I listen to only put him down or to seek opportunity to say “mine’s better!”  Did I immediately confess and repent of my sin of THINKING of sticking my third finger up at the rude driver when I drove my little girl to school yesterday? Do I turn the other cheek? Go the extra mile even though no one is looking? Do I cheat my boss of her time? Yes I do not commit adultery but did I look at her lustfully? Is my religion a religion of doing rather than a religion of the heart where my motives are only to please my maker? Do I do all unto the Lord?

And in my private thoughts and in my private life am I plagued with stress, anxiety and fears? Such only express the lack of trust towards God. It evidences a lack of a meaningful daily walk with God. We do right but we do not think and live right.

Am I praying only for the righteousness of my family and myself? This is what the Pharisees were concerned with. Their own righteousness. Doing right so he may say” I thank thee that I am not as other men are” This is self glorification.  Many are lost, many need help, am I apathetic? Do I ACT or merely sit around with other Christians and moan at the state of lostness of others? (Start ACTING, do not be lazy if you are doing this!)
My heart, my Will must be towards glorifying God. Only with the Holy Spirit can I do this. Only if we are close  can I do this. My thoughts and actions will follow my heart, my Will and this will keep my very being  from becoming an unconscious Pharisee.

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