becoming less pharisee-ish

i brought a few cool tweets to share with you today.  i believe you’ll recognize a theme.

the first is len sweet…

Jesus rebuked Peter for his leadership fetish: “Get Behind Me.” A disciple’s place is behind, not before Jesus. Time to find our place.

the next is terry virgo (retweeted by matt chandler)…

It’s a scary thing for a church to be led by someone who gets their fulfillment from being a leader.

the last one is from tim challies…

I am intimidated by the idea of success that may exceed my sanctification (and here is a link to his blog from whence this quote comes).

a few days ago in that strange ether of pre-wakefulness, i was reminded of how pharisee-like i am (maybe god was trying to talk to me, but i’m not spiritually astute enough to make that claim).

the first-century jewish population-at-large saw the pharisees as frightfully pious, ominous, untouchable.  they were law-keepers to the tenth power, spoken of only in reverential tones.  the crowds humbly parted when a pharisee passed.

jesus, however, disdainfully confronted the pharisees about their hypocrisy (how did he know?).  the pharisees were hyper-diligent about their religious practices, but jesus rebuked them because, “they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues” (matthew 23:6).

that’s me.

i am striving to be holy.  i want to live a life that’s pleasing to the lord, a life so winsome and gentle that people might “see my good deeds” and “glorify my father in heaven” (matthew 5:15).

but i still struggle with my need for approval.

i’m distressed at the lengths to which i will go to have someone acknowledge me–especially my peers.  i wouldn’t think of ignoring a phone call.  i am a shameless compliment-fisher.  i know my identity is in christ, but i love it (way too much!) when someone other than jesus bolsters it in some way.

but jesus is healing me.

each day, i am more and more confident in my role in the kingdom.  i am fulfilled in my vocation.  i am beginning to measure success according to biblical standards, rather than conventional ones.  i am content in the life god has given me.  i am finding my place: behind, not before, jesus.

so keep your “place of honor.”  i just want to sit with jesus.





One thought on “becoming less pharisee-ish

  1. Great stuff. I miss you buddy!

    I long for the days of Overflow with you and the boys. We were dialed in then. For a while there, we were out of the way. We weren’t proud, we were just happy we were on the team. We were making plans only God could accomplish. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to do things I can accomplish.

    I told the boys today, I’m going back there.To a place where you just do things. No theologies other than love God and your neighbor.

    It’s going to be good.

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