Wednesday, November 17, 2010

See or PhariSee?

I tend to be good about seeing a situation and sizing it up appropriately. I can read body language and gestures, tone and inflection, attitudes and appearances. Some would call that being astute.

Police officers are trained to check out situations and size them up appropriately as well. By reading body language, gestures, tones, attitudes and appearances, they try to determine what illegal activity may be going on. That is called profiling.

But at what point does sizing up, or inference, become judgment? When do we go from seeing to “PhariSeeing.” That is, being like a Pharisee in the Bible. Pharisees were the religious leaders in Jesus' day. They were considered to be self-righteous rule-followers. They were more concerned with following the letter of the law, than the spirit of the law.

The internet encyclopedia Wikipedia states “An important binary in the New Testament is the opposition between law and love. Accordingly, the New Testament presents the Pharisees as obsessed with man-made rules (especially concerning purity) whereas Jesus is more concerned with God’s love; the Pharisees scorn sinners whereas Jesus seeks them out.”

Matthew 13:15 says, “For this people’s heart have become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” The Pharisees had great knowledge about God’s word, but they closed their eyes to those around them

I have to admit, sometimes my "seeing" becomes "Phariseeing." Sometimes it's more important to me to be on time, than to stop and lend a helping hand. Sometimes I "size someone up" and think we could never be friends, without getting to know them first.

What friendships have I missed out on because of my "Phariseeing?" What witnessing opportunities have I lost by judging instead of ministering?

It's important to be able to have eyes to see the truth. To do that I need to make sure I'm measuring what I see through God's eyes, not mine. Then I may see things justly and fairly. Then my view will not be phariseeing, but fairly seeing.



Terry said...

That was a great post. I have the same problem, and needed the reminder.

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

Kelly, I love when God does this: Just this morning I was reading about the Pharisees and how they were "looking to accuse" Jesus. I don't want to be a Pharisee! I don't want to look to accuse people. May our hearts and eyes be overflowing with His gracious and merciful love.

Discernment is a gift. Suspicion is sin. It's a matter of the heart.

Thanks, Kelly! :)

KrippledWarrior said...

The Pharisees had several flaws in their worship and observation of the law. But, just off hand I can't recall Jesus ever chastising a Sadducee. Can you? They were the Jews who believed that all things end at the grave. See what happens when you make me think about things?

Heather said...

What a magnificent post! Beautifully written and compelling each of us to examine our own "seeing". Sharon, love the comment that discernment is a gift ...suspicion is sin! So thought-provoking, very thankful for this today.

Have a blessed rest of your week!

Nezzy said...

What a beautifully written post to ponder. Yep, I fear we all wear those 'PhariSee' glasses every now and again. Just think of all the blessins' we a missing.

Ya'll have a magnificently blessed day and take off those glasses baby!

Warren Baldwin said...

Great play on the words "seeing" and "phariseeing." I'm afraid I have done that, and know that I certianly don't like it when it is done to me. It hurts, and not telling how much harm is done to the body when we view each other with such judgmental spirits. Great post! wb