This is also a quotes from Tim Keller’s book “The Reason For God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism”. In this particular chapter, he was discussing some people’s tendency to get so wrapped up in rules (aka: being like a Pharisee). He thinks that:
From page 178:
The devil, if anything, prefers Pharisees-men and women who try to save themselves. They are more unhappy than either mature Christians or irreligious people, and they do a lot more spiritual damage.
I can relate to this! From my own life – when I’m so focused on doing the right thing just for the sake of doing the right thing, it’s easy to be unhappy. Because I’m usually focused on the thing that I’m doing and how I don’t really want to be doing it. Example: I’m not always 100% joyful to cook dinner. But I don’t like eating out all the time either, so I cook. I’m doing the right thing, but my attitude isn’t great.
I’ve also seen how this kind of attitude in Christians does damage to other people. When people are so law-focused (even on good laws), it can really grate on others and it really is a big turn off to Christianity because the law-focused people are miserable. Unfortunately, the example that comes to mind are some people who hold the position that parents should not prevent children/pregnancy. While I think their heart is in the right place and I believe that they are truly convinced of this from God and Scripture, sometimes they way they go about expressing this belief is so off-putting that it keeps me away from them. And I mostly agree with them! Imagine the reaction someone who disagrees with them? Probably not good.
Anyway, I thought it was a sobering thought.