“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus tells a parable to confront some people who who are confident in their own righteousness.
In the parable, a Pharisee and a tax collector go to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stands up to pray about himself. He thanks God that he is better than others, including the tax collector.
The tax collector stands at a distance and prays, “God have mercy on me, a sinner.”
It is the tax collector and not the Pharisee, Jesus concludes, who is justified before God. Everyone who boasts will be pulled down, but those who humble themselves will be lifted up.
Pride is an insidious, creeping disease that poisons the spirit, creeping in at every unguarded weak point.
Even christians can become self-righteous and proud. It is ironic that our walk with Christ starts with a recognition that we are not good until God calls us good; that we are so lost in sin that we need a Saviour.
It is so easy, as we gain confidence in God’s grace, to think that we are somehow better than the people who have yet to find salvation.
Like the Pharisee in the parable, we look down on evil-doers and forget that is what we once were.
Lord, who am I in this story? Please identify pride or self-righteousness in my heart, and grant me grace to truly repent. Amen.