I am a recovering Pharisee.
I cannot read Matthew 23 without thinking about who I used to be shortly after meeting Jesus.
I became obsessed with religious rules and legalism and forgot all about the grace that God had poured out on me through Jesus.
As I look back on that time in my life, there are eight things that really defined me…
#1 – I was way more obsessed with the sins and shortcomings of others and made it my obsession to point out their faults so that I did not have to deal with my own. (Matthew 23:27-28)
#2 – I made it my goal to catch people doing something wrong and condemn them rather than seeing them with the same eyes that Jesus saw me with, thus causing me to be broken for them and reach out to them with compassion and a genuine concern.
#3 – I would not associate with anyone or any group that did not acknowledge that I was completely correct in my view and interpretation of the Scriptures…and if they didn’t see just like me, I would attack and malign them as often as possible. (Kind of goes against what Jesus said in John 13:34-35.) Which leads to…
#4 – I only hung out/associated with people who thought just like me!
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.