Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people…But the tax collector stood at a distance…and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner…. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18: 10–14 (NIV)
The story clearly shows that the first man was boasting about his religious accomplishments and spiritual achievements, believing that it qualified him to be a better person to be in God’s presence and receive His grace. This illusion of ‘moral superiority’ made him very judgmental about his neighbour, the tax collector and dimming him unworthy of God’s grace. Regularly attending church services or paying your tithe and so on, does not make you more qualified for God’s grace than someone who doesn’t do as much as you do. Though all those being commendable, it’s not your work that qualifies you neither is it based on your personal evaluation to receive it.
If our works were a prerequisite for God’s grace, everyone will be disqualified since the bible says that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. See grace as a gift from God, that has been freely given to you and I to make us worthy. If you disqualify others you think you are better than, it’s time to do away with that attitude today. Receive God’s mercy just like the tax collector did and be justified before God. Don’t be boastful, be humble!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Confession: I stop seeing myself as more qualified for God’s grace than others whose behaviour are at variance with mine.