God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Luke 18, 13
Jesus told an example: Two men went up to the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and spoke softly this prayer: God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of my entire income. But the tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his chest, saying: God, be merciful to me a sinner! I tell you, this man went home justified unlike the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.
In general we like to admit that we are sinners. But we defend ourselves with all our strength, if one accuses us of something concrete. Only other people and the enemy, the accuser of the brethren and the father of lies, see our offenses and bring them to light. This is extremely unpleasant for our big, fat, proud self. We do not want that and defend ourselves, because it hurts.
We can’t see our faults. Our pride would suffer, it will not allow this. We are rather like the Pharisee and to see our good deeds and hide our guilt.
God can also see our fault; He knows you best. He sees it and brings it to light, so it can be cleaned off and forgiven. Then it’s gone, there’s no accusation. It is much better if Jesus brings our guild to light as if someone else does it. He does out of love, so that we are free.
He wants carefree people, happy, free, humble followers. That is why he takes the blame, which burdens us, and gives us His Spirit. He makes us capable to fight against our pride and self-praise. No one is free as the one who can apologize and stands to his guilt. Yes, I did it wrong, please forgive me. Humility is one of the highest Christian character traits. God stands by His servants!
Thank you, Jesus, I have nothing to hide and cannot pretend, I was already completely holy. You forgive and you say yes to me. You know me through and through, and dare to show my fault and clean it off. With you I’m sure, you do not condemn or mock me. With you I’m free!