We all learn from an early age the characteristics of Pharisees. These characteristics can wreck our lives over time.
Because to live by these principles sets us up for disappointment.
And if we were truthful we usually never think that we have anything in common with the Pharisees. I mean they killed Jesus for goodness sake.
But we often have trouble recognizing these characteristics of Pharisees in our own lives.
But if we can begin to recognize the problem then we can begin to experience the solution.
The top characteristics of all pharisees comes from cheap talk
When we think about the Pharisees we wrongly think everything about them was wrong.
But what do we find Jesus saying here. Jesus says follow what they say not what they do. That is because the law of Moses was correct. So what should that teach us?
Holy ideas do not translate into holy living. It is only when the words of scripture go from our study Bible to our steps that momentum happens.
That the top characteristic of all Pharisees is holding others to a higher standard than they actually live out.
So what is the problem with this? You can’t have the success of God without living out the standards of God.
Also when we say one thing and do another we exchange God’s plan for ours. Often with disastrous results.
Taking these characteristics of Pharisees to heart also discredits our message. Because why should other people believe our message if we don’t follow our message?
Choose Praise that produces pure joy
It is good to remember that we are all fallen people. One of the big characteristics of the Pharisees was that they valued and craved praise from people.
And if we are honest we often fall into that temptation. The biggest problem with this is that Scripture is clear that the heart of man is deceitful and selfish.
So as long as we are chasing after the praises of men with deceitful hearts we will be let down. On top of this Christ was clear that the praises of men are only a temporary reward.
So even though we want people to know what we are doing and give us all the credit due.
We have to realize that our Father in Heaven sees our work and will reward us. If that is not enough we have fallen into the trap of the Pharisees.
The danger is that whoever we gain our praise from is often the person we gain our directions from. So let us resist the temptation to allow people to control us through their praise.
Take the quiz above to determine if you are more like the Pharisees and what to do about it.
Break traditions not commands
The Pharisees replaced the commands of God with the traditions of man. We all know the stories of the run-ins Jesus had with them.
Jesus perfectly followed God’s commands. But He did not follow their traditions. In fact, if He had honored some of their misguided traditions people would still be suffering.
They got mad at Jesus for healing people on the Sabbath. They did not approve of how He wasn’t so concerned about the outside and instead focused solely on the inside.
Instead of what people ate Jesus focused on what people were doing with the energy they gained from the food. He looked for a clean heart instead of a clean cup. So what should that tell us?
Basically, if we get angered about people breaking the traditions we have set up then we have a Pharisee streak in us.
If we witness God working and don’t approve because it wasn’t in line with our tradition then we need to take some time to repent.
When we sacrifice the mission of God in order to save the traditions of man we are walking into disappointing territory. If you want to know more about what Pharisees might say check out this article.