Thursday, 7 November 2013

How Not To Become a Pharisee

Ever met a smart Alec? Do they grate on the nerves or what! Now, I have nothing against a brilliant person. Wisdom, knowledge, and an excellent spirit are gifts from God. If we think we lack them, we can ask to receive them- so they are not bad in themselves (James3:13-17).

In case you missed the hidden disclaimer, here is it: I love knowledgeable people. In fact, I believe that gaining knowledge of God through The Bible is indispensable for a believer. That said, since we have been emphasizing the importance of personal Bible study, I thought to sound a note of warning.

As you gain more knowledge and insight by the help of The Holy Spirit, know that:

1.       It is not for you to gather more weapons to blast other less-knowledgeable Christians to smithereens. If you do that, you are speeding down Pharisee lane- sandals, long curved finger and all.
2.       We do not study so that we can be more divisive, and argue unnecessarily about doctrines. Some of the ones we argue about are not the weightier matters of salvation.
3.       We do not study to gloat. Whichever way you look at it, that is just childish- in every sense.
4.       We do not study so that we can bring out our hammers of judgement at the speed of light.
These four features can help you pick out one Pharisee from a crowd of 5,000 waiting for Jesus to serve bread and fish.

We know that refraining from gloating in our knowledge does not come naturally to the fallen human nature. Apostle Paul acknowledged that ‘knowledge puffs up’ BUT love builds up (I Corinthians 8:1). So friends, for your good knowledge not to be evil spoken of, I suggest two things. I’m not Einstein you know, so I copied these suggestions (sometimes verbatim) from The Bible.

1.       To your knowledge, add self-control. In other words, never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut. I forget the name of the wise guy who said this but Peter said it first. I personally struggle with showing off when I know something and I know it bothers on pride. Since God resists the proud, what is the point of being very knowledgeable about God if He is going to resist me anyway? These commentaries throw more light on how to add self-control to knowledge.

2.       Let knowledge produce love in you. Truly knowing The Word should make us deeply compassionate for the unsaved, not judgmental. It should deepen God’s love in us.
This is the point of everything: The more we know God, the more we love Him; the more we love Him, the more His love in us coat our daily lives and spreads to people we relate with- sinner or saint.
Does this mean we should hide God’s light in us? No. God forbid. We are a city set on the hill that cannot be hid but there is a way to go about it.

The Love of God. Self-control. Those two things should prevent us from evolving from sincere God-chasers to judgmental Pharisees. 

Grace to you.

Have you ever struggled with showing off that you know so much or getting argumentative? what did you do that helped you deal with it?  Kindly share in the comments section.

Picture from

No comments:

Post a Comment