Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 3, 2019

Thinking More of Self Doesn’t Serve Us Well

“Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.” Luke 18:10b (HCSB)

“Thank you Jesus that I am not like…..” Ever found those words echoing off your lips? We survey our surroundings and quickly determine we’re not so bad at all. Why look at what she did. How dare they come to church in those clothes. And what about… the conversation in our minds and sometimes unfortunately audible divulge of the lifting up of self.

Nothing pretty about pride, arrogance and a deep well of “I’m better than someone else.” Hurts to even write those words, but I bet we’ve traveled down that road before. Amazing how we slip into judge mode as if we have all the answers, and we wouldn’t dare make the mistakes they make.

If we’re looking for an invitation to fall, pride is a given. The very moment we think we’re above and better than, we are setting a trap guaranteed to not serve us well. Like the Pharisee who thought he was the best keeper of the law, we can find ourselves declaring our goodness to the very One who knows us too well.

Wonder what the look would have been on God’s face if those words were ushered up to heaven? Luke 18 dialogues a parable showcasing a rehearsal of all the Pharisee said he wasn’t and a settling of his declared righteous deeds. I’m sure it wasn’t a shock since God knows our very thoughts before words escape our lips. Same is true for us. Whether we boldly proclaim our goodness or not, God sees our hearts crystal clear.
Sweetest prayer ever from a tax collector who stood at a distance and didn’t even raise his head. Admitting his sinfulness – the perfect example of how we are to approach our holy God. Impressed by the words flowing from a humble heart, Jesus reminded his audience the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

Don’t know about you, but I’d rather lose my sense of “better than” and embrace “He’s worthy” any day. Best way to protect feet from stumbling. Best solution for times when we are tempted to judge quickly. Best prayer ever when we admit our desperate need for His grace. Pride or arrogance – the choice is up to us – which one will we chose? Let’s not miss the wonder of His holiness and leave exalting in His hands.

“Father teach us to keep humble and repentant hearts that are totally dependent on You. Help us to exalt Your name above everyone and everything else.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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