The Pharisee

By: Cindy Stepanek

Matthew 15: 1-20  

When I went to bed this morning, I thought I had this parable all figured out in regards to how it relates to my life but I wanted to pray about it a little more. This morning I woke up and I found an entirely different thought in my head about the Pharisees, the law, and our hearts. For me, this has been a profound thought because I have struggled with understanding the Pharisees and the law for a long time.

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time, that I say that the “Law” was written to be used as a tool to protect the people, not to condemn them. Today is the first time I’ve been able to take this thought and apply it to justice and a person’s heart. I am sad to say I am a Pharisee and here is why:

I don’t watch television; as a matter of fact we don’t have cable. We have a television that can be used to watch movies or DVDs of our choice. Lately, I have been seeing a lot of media regarding The View and a comment regarding a ”doctor’s stethoscope & a nurse’s costume.” The women on The View also portrayed demeaning attitudes toward the nurse Ms. Colorado and her story about a patient. As a nurse of 30 years, I found this offensive, but because the media has a habit of showing part of the story to manipulate the public, I did some research. Afterwards I found I was offended on 3 levels. Their words and attitudes were insulting to the nurse and her desire to share our story because we all have at least one Joe in our career. I found it insensitive to Joe and his family because his story is important and it comes with a high emotional cost to him, his family, and loved ones. Lastly, it is appalling to me that these insensitive ill informed women have been elevated to a place of authority and responsibility in the public eye.

The Pharisee in me screamed for justice and wanted to sound the alarm. I wanted justice for the nurse and all nurses. I wanted justice for Joe and his family. I wanted justice and accountability for the people responsible for putting these women in their position. I wanted justice for those people that hold the women on The View at a level of authority. I was a Pharisee.

Today I have learned that when I am like the Pharisees and demand that type of justice, my sinful nature takes over. I take the same rules that were meant to protect and use them to condemn. I lose sight of the grace and mercy that Jesus shows me.

I learned that although I am offended, this is not my battle to fight. This belongs to the Lord. God will use their ignorance for His glory, not mine, not the nurses, Joe or his family. My job is to guard my tongue and pray for a pure heart.

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