September 07, 2010

The Pharisee in me

One day I found within my heart
someone who’d been there from the start.
A prudish person—self appointed,
self sufficient—self anointed.

Though I, a true disciple be
I’ve met the Pharisee in me!

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Oh, Lord, I pray hard on my way
I try to do it every day
A publican to be I try
and beat my breast and sigh and cry
I’m hoping others round will see—
oops—there’s the Pharisee in me!

Blessed are those who mourn

He sees not why his heart should bow.
Instead he’s holier than thou.
He casts the mote out of your eye,
while beam in his obscures the why
a tear be shed because of sin
or why he should begin again

Forgive me, Lord, the sin you see,
I’ve met the Pharisee in me!

Blessed are the meek

He’s there as I start out my week
advising me that meek is weak.
he’s up before me every day,
to figure out a better way
than following Him submissively.
I’ve met the Pharisee in me!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

He tells me, “Oh, you know enough
just keep on with the same old stuff—
you’ve books galore and tapes to lend,
No need to learn theology - ”
I’ve met the Pharisee in me!

Blessed are the merciful

He passes people every day
Who’ve lost their innocence some way
He says a prayer for those poor fools,
for breaking his religious rules
“No time for mercy now,” says he,
“at Bible study I must be.”

Blessed are the pure in heart

He laughs when told of a pure heart,
And wants no parcel or no part
of looking in and seeing sin
When such a perfect man he’s been.
He spends his life in holy work
and never quits and never shirks.
He shines the outside of his cup,
and knows not that he’ll finish up
in dungeon deep, in hell’s abyss—
cause God condemns a man like this!

Blessed are the peacemakers

The father reasons with the son
that mercy and forgiveness won
the offending brother be restored
that retribution be outlawed,
that loving welcome be extended,
instead the Pharisee’s offended.
He wants the boy to crawl, you see,
I’ve met the Pharisee in me.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness

The Pharisee reviles the one
who tries to follow God’s dear son.
He persecutes the witness who
confesses Christ his whole life through.
He murders life when e’er he finds
disciples who with peace of mind,
refuse to cower or bow the knee,
to him –the Pharisee in me.

I know the Lord rebukes my guest
in scathing words, at God’s behest.
He tells me ”heed his words of strife
and realize he saps your life.”

He hates to share my heart, you see,
with him, the Pharisee in me.

And why should He the God of grace
be forced to live here face to face
with him who hung Him up to die
against an angry, anguished sky—
who pierced His feet and crowned His head,
who laughed, and left Him very dead?

Forgive me, Lord, I beg of Thee,
deal with the Pharisee in me!

Oh Lord, we pray for eyes to see
a judge who’s fair, a Trinity
who’d have us lay our bias down
and quit the prejudicial frown.

When we’re in heaven and take our place
and look for some familiar face
and realize He’s longaccepted
the people who we’ve long rejected

Then help us not to make a fuss
When we see they’re not
Expecting us!


Poem by Jill Briscoe


  1. This is a beautiful reminder!
    Bless you

  2. What a wonderful prayer/poem. And so right on target. I know that Pharisee well, sad to say. Thank goodness for a loving, forgiving Father in heaven.


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