Pharisee Is My Last Name - Wholly Loved - May 28

Pharisee Is My Last Name
By Meredith Kendall

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15:8

I married a Pharisee. He grew up in the church and thought his last name meant something in God’s Kingdom. His great-grandfather was a circuit Preacher, his grandfather was an evangelist, and his dad was a leader in the church and denomination.

Therefore, when I took his last name, I quickly learned to become a Pharisee as well. I started quoting Scripture and lived a self-righteous life. I went to church whenever the doors opened and built a pretty awesome resume. I was in charge of outreach, Bible Bowl, children’s choir, and much more.

But the more I served, the more I learned, and the more I read the Bible, the emptier I felt. I began to question why I was trying to impress God with everything I was doing in the church.

At age 30, I served as youth camp counselor. I didn’t grow up in the church, so I was excited to finally attend youth camp. The speaker quoted the passage from Matthew 7:22-23: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’”

I realized that night that Christ wasn’t impressed with my resume even though the world was. What He wanted was a relationship with me. Today I know that I’m nothing without God’s grace and that it’s not about what I can do for Him but what He’s done for me.

Meredith Kendall, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ devotions, is a change agent, driven by her God-given passion to equip struggling families to achieve their unique God-given potential. As a nationally recognized sales leader, Meredith Kendall learned how to build bridges and make connections with the heart of what people need. God called her to co-found Advancing the Gospel which serves those who are often forgotten. Today she uses her gifting’s to help people understand the root causes of their struggles and find freedom through Christ. Visit her online at

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Originally published Tuesday, 28 May 2024.