All “Me, Me, Me”?
Heavenly Father, in Your grace and mercy, show me any selfishness in me and help me get rid of it.
Read Luke 18:9-17
 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:  “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-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was the Pharisee not "justified before God"?
Although this passage looks as though it’s about prayer, it really highlights our attitude to ourselves in relation to God. How we pray reveals a great deal. There are two extremes in this story. The religious leader was so self-confident that when he prayed all he did was talk to God about himself. Clearly, he thought he didn’t need God at all. Unfortunately, his pride and self-absorption gave him a skewed view of his fellow men. Rather than being righteously on God’s side, where he thought he was, the Pharisee was far from knowing God. The other man, a despised tax collector, sensed God’s holiness and his own unworthiness. He understood that nothing he could do or say would make him worthy to approach God. He needed God desperately, and he knew it. Again and again, Jesus taught his listeners that being good and following the rules couldn’t make them right with God. But that didn’t mean that God was forever inaccessible. His love is available to everyone who is prepared to run to Jesus in humility and trust.
Do you have a sense of God’s holiness and your deep need for God? Ask God to help you remove any undue pride.
Thank You, Lord, that You are always there for me. Keep me conscious of Your holiness and my deep need.
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