Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer:
‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying:
‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’
“I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
– Luke 18:9-14
Family in Christ,
Have you ever felt like you had your life in better shape than others? I have. In fact, though I don’t fast twice a week, I’ve pridefully viewed other aspects of my life as ‘in order’ while looking down at others who appeared to lack that specific order in that specific area in their lives. It’s pretty sad. And whenever I notice myself doing it, I thank God that He quietly reminds me about just how NOT ‘in order’ I truly am…and BEFORE I have to be humbled in public.
I’m sure that I’m not alone in this. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who gains a bit TOO much confidence in myself because I don’t do any of those ‘major’ sins. …you know, like drugs, rape, murder, grand theft auto, super casual sex…the MAJOR ones, right?
Of course, there is this one little major sin called Pride…which God explicitly expressed special disdain for.