What is the single hardest question you’ll ever ask as a Christian? [Tweet this]
I believe it’s a question posed through a new study by the Barna Group in conjunction with John Burke, author of Mud and the Masterpiece. Through a series of pointed questions, they examine how well Christians seem to emulate the attitudes and actions of Jesus. Their study boils down to one tough question:
Are you more like Jesus or more like the Pharisees? [Tweet this]
Most of us wants to throw up our hand, “I’m more like Jesus!”
In their study, the Barna team developed 10 statements that represented the attitudes and actions of Christ such as:
-I see God-given value in every person, regardless of their past or present condition.
-I see God working in people’s lives, even when they are not following him.
-I am personally spending time with non-believers to help them follow Jesus.
-I regularly choose to have meals with people with very different faith or morals from me.
Then the team developed 10 statements that represented attitudes and actions of the self-righteous or Pharisees such as:
-It’s not my responsibility to help people who won’t help themselves.
-I believe we should stand against those who are opposed to Christian values.
-I try to avoid spending time with people who are openly gay or lesbian.
-I like to point out those people who do not have the right theology or doctrine.
The finding revealed 51 percent self-identified Christians in the U.S. are characterized by having the actions and attitudes of those identified as the Pharisees.
The study is well worth reading. Click here for the full report.
But the study pierced my own heart, forcing me to ask one of the toughest questions we ever have to ask ourselves, In what areas of my life am I more like the Pharisees than Jesus? [Tweet this]
I thought of people I’d withdrawn from, refused to get involved, refused to help. I thought of attitudes of arrogance, pride, being judgmental, and hypocrisy that so easily slip in. I realized that once again I needed to ask for forgiveness and a change of heart.
My prayer is so simple: Help expose those areas of self-righteousness. Jesus, make me more like you.
Will you join me in asking God a tough question today:
Where have you allowed yourself to become more like the Pharisees than Jesus?