God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
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 the other people – robbers, evil-doers, 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. (Luke 18: 10-14)
To be humble was characteristic for Jesus. There was no pride in Him which forbade Him to meet the despised. He left heaven to live with us people. His humility allowed Him to dine with the tax collectors and the sinners, to have fun with them which caused the people to call Him a glutton and a drunkard. He did not need to defend himself against these accusations. His humility let Him wash the feet of His deciples, let Him be nailed on the cross for you and me.
Humility or pride what dominates in our heart? Am I prepared to carry away the garbage can, or does my pride protest? Do I voluntarily pick up the paper from the floor? Have I to fight against slander to justify myself at any price? Am I congratulating my collegue when he is upgraded and not me? Is there any feeling of envy in you when your neighbour has bought an brand new car and you still have an old vehicle? How I do feel when a homeless bagger is approaching me?
In this moment I notice that there is still pride in me, terrible! And I was so sure of myself in this respect. But God reveals it to me and I accept it. I want humility instead of pride! Then God is proud of me. He makes me confident, gives certainty and foothold. So I need not to fight for my reputation, to care about my standing. I do not want to be a Pharisee! They rely on their own efforts and are proud of same and think to please God. But God definetely does not! I do not want to put myself above others, I am not better than them. I do not know how I would have grown up spiritually if I had lived like them? However, God disciplined me which is rather hard sometimes. He leads me into situations where I have to say goodbye to my pride. He reminds me of situations where my pride ruled. Now I can see the consequences and sincerely regret. Glory to Him, He reveals the causes of my sometimes severe reactions. It was pride and I regret. He reigns! He wants to create a new man out of me, a man in the image of Jesus. But there is still a long way to go.
I still have topray
like the tax collector: God have mercy on me, a sinner!
Jesus, You totally was secure in the hands of the heavenly Father. You were safe as God cared for You. The same I like to have: Security and stability in God! Thank You, that You help me thereby. How wonderful that you forgive when I fail and my pride shows up again. Glory to You, that I may start again. Yes, with You I will succeed.
Bible reading today – John 16: 4-15