Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beyond the Pharisee

THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE BENT ON HEMMING US IN, continually controlling and bringing us to account; those who must have I’s dotted and T’s crossed, always—no excuses... the perfectionists. The Pharisaic person; whatever are we to do with people who are never content, even with our best?

Nagging, complaining, never happy or content—even when they get their way. It’s a problem for each of us with a good intent, and to be honest, ninety percent of us have generally good intent.

There’s nothing wrong with pleasing people—we should want to please people. But, what about when people absolutely cannot be pleased—be it a mood or their general disposition?

People with the temerity to force their way on us have their problems because they have their problems—their unreconciled problems that haunt them. In this we can have compassion. But where does that leave us in our dealing with them? The problem hasn’t gone away.

For ‘the problem to go away’ requires from us a deeper look within.

We can “fix” no one but ourselves, and then only truly with God’s help.

But, that’s not the point I’m making. Many years ago now I recall the distinct Spiritual non-audible voice of God whisper through my psyche a personal mantra—for the season, and for life. “Accountable to God,” I was to be and remain. Nothing else matters.

To be account-able is crucial. All of life attends to it: accountability.

And this is the key when we’re faced with the confounding, insatiable Pharisee. Being a Pharisee is a state and not truly ‘a person,’ for Pharisees are being—in effect—duped by the devil, and no one should be labelled unless they insist on the label. The Pharisee is bent out of shape by the stranglehold of fear.

If we can be satisfied in being accountable only to God, it’s only his grace-imbued standard that applies, and not some interminable human standard that we’ll never meet. But in this we can still go beyond the Pharisee very easily in our approach to them and in what they want. We can do our one hundred percent best and still not be down when they say it’s not good enough. For we know that it will have to be good enough.

We hold both realities—our best and their dissatisfaction—wonderfully in tension with each other with God’s abiding grace gluing the thing together.

Now, this is power—but not a power of this world!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

1 comment:

Ellis Hackler said...

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