If you’re a Christian, “Pharisee” is the last thing you want to be called.
If you love to talk about God’s Word, but it doesn’t impact your own spiritual walk; if you’re indulging in the sins and neglecting the virtues that you preach to others, you may be a Pharisee.
If you make excuses for your own sin while refusing to extend mercy for the sins of others; if you’re hard on others but easy on yourself, you may be a Pharisee.
If your greatest aspiration is for people to respect and value your opinion, instead of pointing people to Jesus; if you find your satisfaction in being viewed as an expert in Biblical knowledge and Christian living, you may be a Pharisee.
Don’t look to your works, your reputation, or your intellect. Look to the cross of Christ. Humble yourself and serve the one who humbled himself to save you. If you are depending on your own works to get to heaven, take a moment to read what the Scriptures say about true salvation. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, take a moment and ask God to show you how pharisaism is sneaking into your life. Pharisaism comes in all shapes and sizes, but God’s grace can conquer them all.
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 9 23-24
As much as they try to disguise themselves with a bright and shiny exterior, Pharisees are not happy people.
The only way to get rid of a Pharisee spirit is repentance: A total u-turn of the heart!
Jesus wants us to be sincere, not showy. Jesus desires that His followers focus on the details, but not to the neglect of the more important issues. Jesus wants us to love truth (Jn. 17:17) and fix our inside so that it may show on the outside. Jesus wants us to practice what we preach and not put unrealistic burdens on others. Jesus expects us to be better than the Pharisees: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:20).
“Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most – love of you, my Lord and my God, and love of my fellow neighbor whom you have made in your own image and likeness. Free my heart from selfish evil desires that I may only have room for kindness, mercy, and goodness toward every person I know and meet.”