Luke 18:9-14 NET “Jesus also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I AM NOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.””
The first thing the Pharisee said was, “I AM NOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE.”😳It’s easy to do what the Pharisee did without even knowing it. I’m guilty of it myself; thinking that I’m better because I don’t act like, “those people.” The Lord recently showed me this about myself. The other day I was talking with someone about how some men don’t care for their children. I talked bad about those men then spoke well about myself how I’ve had a good relationship with my son over the years. I was proud of that (too proud). Then when I sat down to finish writing this article the Holy Spirit convicted me: a little voice said, “You just did it. You just committed the sin you’re writing about.” I felt terrible and had to repent. Man this is scary. It’s so easy to become Ricky-righteous because of some good things we do. I had to admit to myself and to God that I’ve been feeling like a superior Dad because of my relationship with my son for some years.😳 I only did what I was supposed to do. (Luke 17:10) It was no great feat or accomplishment. And I wasn’t perfect at that. When we think that we’re better because we don’t act like other people our thinking is not pleasing to God. We are looking at things humanly. And we will miss why Christ died and shed His blood for all if we do not repent.
Romans 3:23 NET “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Again, it’s easy to think because we don’t do x y and z like other folks we’re better. God says differently. To God sin is sin, and unfortunately we all have sin. There is no big sins or little sins. It’s all sin! Did you notice right after the Pharisee said, “I am not like other people,” he started mentioning the sins of other people like I did when talking about my son? The Pharisee said I’m not like other people; “extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.” I spoke well of my relationship with my son then said I’m not like other dead beat dads. It’s the same thing the Pharisee did. Some may think I’m being too hard on myself but I’m not. God showed me whenever I do this it’s self-righteousness and I need to stop! There’s a fine line between exposing evil in others and praising yourself.
If you turn on the news you will see bad actors. There’s a lot of chaos going on in the world now. We may not engage in criminal behavior like others and that’s good. Yet we must strive no to look down on them and elevate ourselves. Jesus says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” God wants us to recognize the real problem we all have; it’s SIN. Sin makes people think and act crazy. Not one of us is immune. If we were Jesus would not have had to come and die for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. Thank God for Jesus’ atoning sacrifice!😃
1 John 2:2 NET “And he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the WHOLE WORLD.”
Everybody has a sin problem, EVERYBODY! The Pharisee thought he was so different like we do sometimes. He talked bad about others then spoke well of himself. If you have noticed any of these traits in yourself as I have noticed in myself please do not ignore it. We have to deal with this. We must call it what it is: Self-righteousness. If we repent and confess our own sins, then go to God in prayer asking for forgiveness, God says, “You are forgiven,” as if it never happened.😊 WOW! That’s right, God is that loving, compassionate, and willing to forgive our sins. So shouldn’t we be more lenient with others.🤔
Is it surprising to see self-righteous in ourselves or others? Not really, it’s human nature. But it is God’s will that we put on the new nature of Christ, that we be conformed to God’s image. (Ephesians 4:22-24 Colossians 3:5-10) And nothing about Jesus’ personality is self-righteous. If we already had Jesus’ personality there would be no need to conform to it.🤔 So no it’s not strange to see ourselves fall short in this or any other matter. Our goal should be though not to get comfortable with our sins; not to downplay them, but to deal with them the way God says and that is to repent.
It’s good to know we have a merciful Father who will forgive us. May we not develop a hard, stubborn heart that refuses to repent when God shows us unpleasant things about ourselves. And may we not beat ourselves to death over it either. Remember, Jesus died to make atonement for our sin! May it be our goal to keep learning how to be like our Master Jesus who is so humble, loving, kind, understanding, pleasant, all that and a bag of chips! You know what I mean.😃
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