Sometimes it is just easier to be a Pharisee — justifying my thoughts and actions as righteous. I can easily point out the good I do and hide the true attitude of my heart — the sin that lives there. The fact is that I want you to believe that I am a good guy.
Jesus was speaking to people like me when he spoke to the Pharisees saying,
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. (Matthew 23:23 NIV)
Currently I am struggling with anger about some circumstances in my life. My anger seems so justified! But Jesus tells me in the Sermon on the Mount that the judgment for anger will be the same as for murder. Oh, come on. That cannot be true. Or can it? The sins of my heart are just as important to Jesus as my sinful words and actions.
Jesus has called me to a higher way than the way of the Pharisees. But sometimes, it is easier to settle for being a Pharisee than choosing the hard work of surrendering the issues of my heart to Jesus and the work of His Spirit. Will you join me in yielding the hardness of our hearts to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit which will transform and free us?