Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne

This book is one that I started out being completely unsure about, but I read the reviews at the beginning and decided that this book would be worth checking out.  There were a whole LOT of people who were willing to say that this book had good things to offer, so shouldn’t I at least read it and see what I thought?

Within the first couple of pages, I was convicted by how little I know – even after a lifetime in the church, and a personal relationship with God since I was a little girl.  What struck me most is the way in which the author communicated his thoughts.  He’s well aware that people don’t sit around thinking up ways to become more like a Pharisee, and I appreciated that.  We don’t!  But here’s what he said: “…for most of us, areas of biblically unaligned and overzealous faith are unintentional.  They’re the result of blind spots, not sin spots.  We’re doing our best with the knowledge we have.”  Could it be that the very things we don’t know are the things we’re doing the worst with?

Back in the days of the Pharisees (the New Testament days), they were looked up to as the religious leaders, the ones to follow, the ones to be like.  Over time, the term “Pharisee” has turned into a derogatory one – referring to people who go “too far” with their beliefs. But that’s because the Pharisees actually did that, and we’re often quick to note that we’re nothing like they are.  The problem is that we’re more like those Pharisees than we’d like to admit.  Whenever we seek to follow God with everything we have, we put ourselves at risk for becoming like a Pharisee.  If we’re only doing things because we think we “should”, or because we feel like others “expect” us to, then those things become to us like the rules of the Pharisees.  We need to follow God because it’s something that’s in our heart to do, not something that we do just to keep up appearances in front of others!

This book did an amazing job giving practical examples of ways that we’re drawn into this type of behavior, and ways that we should examine our lives to start taking those things out.  It points out the wrong, but it also helps us to fix it, and that’s the best kind of book.

While the book isn’t easy to read, it’s very convicting and really makes you examine your life in new ways, it’s a great book and is one that people should definitely pick up.  I highly recommend it!

I was given a free copy of this book by BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.  The thoughts here are completely my own.


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