The New Pharisees We Battle with in the Religion of Enoughness, Part 3 – Bravester

In Righteousness in the Religion of Enoughness I ended with this question for you to ask yourself or your small group:  Are you feeling a hunger in you to find a church that speaks the message of Jesus which tells you that you are loved therefore you are worthy and valuable? That Jesus is personal and for you?

I believe this hunger is there. But we have a lot of baggage when it comes to this church word church.

I have two people in my life who are suffering in this religion of Enoughness. Both are having marriage troubles. One has mentioned coming to church with me more than once but never has—yet. But she has committed her time to become a yoga instructor. She has created practices for the religion her DNA craves with this discipline. (I’m not bashing yoga here as I have a regular practice of it.) Yet it is not enough. It will never be enough.

My other friend spends 3 hours on Saturday doing meditation.
She excitedly tells me it is taught by a real Buddhist monk. Yet she won’t even
consider going to church with me. What is the difference of a 3-hour meditation
commitment vs. a 1.5 hour church commitment? Answer that question below.

The religion of Enoughness has given us new pharisees. Pharisees are those leaders in the Bible whom Jesus continually sparred with because Jesus was introducing a new way of righteousness. We used to meet pharisees one day a week in church. But now we have a pharisee living inside our head. This is the one who is justifying—or self-justifying—everything about our existence. An inner accountant who takes extensive notes on our failures. This pharisee is speaking every hour. Even in our sleep.

This pharisee also loves shame. Every hour.

The message of Jesus is you have a chance to know that you
are loved therefore you are worthy and valuable. This is a personal Saviour, a
God who is for you. Saving you from the pharisee of yourself.

Abdu Murray wrote this profound book about our post-truth world called Saving Truth. There is a lot of “uh-huh” thoughts in there as well as this quote:

“The gospel tells us that our self-aggrandizement is the very thing that gets us into trouble. We need someone who is not us to save us from ourselves. Jesus is that someone.”  –Abdu Murray, Saving Truth, p. 207

Second thought about why the Jesus way:  The values Jesus taught give you direction to
know how to live better and resist temptation. Temptations—with their immediate
gratification–are attractive to people with pain and anger and shame.

I’ve mentioned shame a lot because it is real a lot. Shame is your story stealer. Shame thrives in secret keeping. And too many of you are handling your shame with numbing negative behaviors thus cycling the shame. (How many glasses of wine are you really drinking every night?) Jesus offers you wisdom and the opposite of shame to face your temptations.

Third:  The way of
Jesus is outward-focused vs. a victimhood perspective which is inward-focused.
With the love of a God who pursues you it is hard to remain a victim to your
life. You desire to overcome.

When do you feel like you’ve overcome with Enoughness?

We need a Savior. A Savior who’s message is love and grace. A
Savior who says you aren’t good and you are still my tribe.

And our culture needs to be back in Church. Today’s pharisees
are taking our joy and lying to us.

Oh dear Jesus, help us.

Questions to ask yourself (or your small group because this
would be a great discussion):

  • What is the difference of a 3-hour meditation commitment vs. a 1.5 hour church commitment?
  • Describe the pharisee in your head you hear every hour?
  • How does Jesus save us from ourselves?
  • What are some specific Bible guidelines that can help you when shame overwhelms you and you want to numb?
  • Do you have hope of being known as an overcomer?

We are ending this 3-part series on a high note. This is a core Bravester truth: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Originally published at Bravester with permission from Brenda Seefeldt Amodea.

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