The Pharisee Factor

Have you ever experienced The Pharisee Factor? This factor is negative and it can destroy relationships before they even start. A Pharisee is someone who looks down on another because that person doesn’t meet their particular standards. I was hit by it the other day and it almost destroyed a friendship that was just beginning.

I had been chatting with a gal and after a few days realized that perhaps she worked in the sex industry. When I realized it, I wanted to reject her and not speak to her again. Boom! I had been hit by The Pharisee Factor. Fortunately for me, after a few minutes of that thinking, The Holy Spirit began to convict me of my attitude. He made me realize that I was acting like a Pharisee and that my attitude stank. I was judging her and somewhere deep inside of me, I had forgotten about my own sins.

I repented of my bad attitude and began to feel compassion for the woman. For whatever reason, she was involved in a lifestyle that had to be very negative for her. I began to pray for her and am hoping for an opportunity to share the love of the Lord with her. I suspect that before that happens though, I must look at my own life, my own heart, and pray that the Lord will give me a heart like his.

When we read about Jesus in the Bible, we see that He always reached out to those who were lost. When the Pharisees would criticize Him for the company He kept, He would always remind them of why He came to the earth. He would tell them He came “to seek and save the lost.” He would say that “the well have no need of a physician.” He had a heart for those who were hurting and He wasn’t going to let other people’s opinions stand in His way from reaching out to those that needed Him.

Have you been hit by The Pharisee Factor? Do you sometimes reject people for the way they live and the things they do? Do you need a heart of compassion in order to reach out to them and offer help? If so, don’t be afraid to come to the Lord and ask Him to give you a heart like His. If we want to reach those who are lost and hurting, we must be more like Him and less like a Pharisee.

Image by John Hain. Courtesy of Pixabay.

36 thoughts on “The Pharisee Factor

  1. This is such a good post, Valerie! Thank you! The Pharisee Factor, one that gives us the right to look down our long noses at others, stinks!!! Lord, give us your eyes, your heart, and your wisdom for others.

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  2. Based on my reading in Second Temple Judaism (mainly E. P. Sanders, “Paul and Palestinian Judaism,” 1977), I have concluded that the stereotypes of Second Temple Judaism I grew up with were terribly inaccurate. I grew up learning that the Judaism of Christ’s time was a legalistic, works-based religion. Sanders quoted Second Temple Jewish sources to prove that the religion was not that. Nevertheless, some Second Temple Jews (including some Pharisees) were legalistic and self-righteous.

    One may think of a modern-day counterpart. Protestantism does not teach works-based righteousness, at least not officially. However, growing up a Protestant, I heard plenty of works-based righteousness from lay people.

    Anyhow, the point of your post is valid.

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  3. I love this post! I always thought that being “hit with the Pharisee Factor” was to be on the receiving end of that judgment… Either way it is an attitude that needs revision whether we are standing in judgment or being judged. I suppose it goes back to “let him without sin cast the first stone”!

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  4. Great post ! First I do agree with you that we shouldnโ€™t shun people because they need to hear and see the gospel . But second I would caution that an immature person might need to avoid certain people and situations lest they be led astray . Iโ€™m that case it would be better to have a companion making sure that you stay safe from any bad influences . In other words , I donโ€™t think young men should be befriending or counseling sex workers alone or something similar. Know what I mean ?

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  5. Hi Valerie, I think the Pharisee factor comes into play a lot more than we realize. I’ve caught myself thinking less of someone because they did a poor job of cleaning or swore continually etc. The minute we look down on someone, what we are doing is elevating ourselves above them and all things considered, that is really not a good place to be, when one begins to comprehend how often we continually fall short ourselves. What is really troublesome is that we can do it almost without thinking, like an automatic reaction, which should show us how deeply instilled finding negativity in someone else is in our own being. And I think the fact that Jesus said to focus on the log in our own eye before we start rendering assistance to remove twigs from other peoples eyes, is a good indication (log/twig) of the ratio involved. Short story is you’re not alone Valerie, not by a long shot. Blessings!

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  6. Thank you, Valerie. I always want to be checked in my heart for this. I think sometimes I’m a Pharisee to myself too – I see my failings and I am utterly ashamed of who I was, or who I am and want to hide it, rather than bring it to Jesus. Had to deal with that to write my post today.

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  7. Hi Valerie! You handled the Phariseeโ€™s factor, well. Many of us are ignorant of our sins. It is nice to have friends and associates who will not condemn us but love us by praying for us and exampling their lives. I hope that your week is going well. Big blessed hugs for you dear Val!๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‘Œ

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