(Read Luke 18:9-14)
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector has always spoken directly to my heart. You see, I am a recovering Pharisee. I am one of those who tends to "look down on everybody else". So I have to ask myself, "Am I confident in my own righteousness, or does my confidence come from somewhere else?"
This is not really an easy question to answer. It is rather difficult to discern my own heart and seek to discover where my real confidence lies. I pray that my confidence is found in Jesus alone, but I cannot always be sure.
But here's the good news: whether I am confident in Jesus alone, or whether some semblance of confidence in my own righteousness still exists, I know that I belong to Christ, and His finished work on my behalf is enough even to cover my own tendency towards self-righteousness! To God be the glory! Great things He has done!
But how can I say that? Well, let's look at another scripture. This is one I find gives me incredible comfort when I feel I am falling back into my pharisaical tendencies.
(Read II Timothy 2:11-13)
"Here is a trustworthy saying, ... if we are faithless, He will remain faithful ..."
That small verse from God's enduring, eternal, living word gives me great hope. It is all about what God has done and not what I have done! Jesus saves! Hallelujah! Praise God!
So in response to Jesus' words,"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted", this is my prayer: "Lord, help me to humble myself so that you can lift me up.
What about you? Do you tend to be more like the Pharisee or the Tax Collector? Where then do you find your confidence?