In any walk of life, a state of self-satisfaction shuts down progress, as the musician, athlete, MD, businessman, physicist, etc., can attest. However, nowhere is self-satisfaction more deadly than in the area of spiritual growth, nurturing our relationship with God. It was for this that Jesus saved his toughest rebukes, you might even say, his anger. For example, the entire Chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew consists of a tirade against the scribes and Pharisees. Who were these scribes and Pharisees? They were the esteemed teachers and moral leaders of the Jewish religious institution at that time. How did they become so self-serving and materialistic, even cruel? Surely most of them did not start out that way. But once they became respected scribes and Pharisees, they too often became self-satisfied, spiritual growth became stultified, self-righteousness, self-justification, and self-love settled in.