He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘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 all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” — Luke 18:9-14
Quick check-in: Have you been able to keep that too-big thing out of your life? If you slipped up, reset and keep going. This is not about perfection, but faithfulness. It is hard. We do not want to feel empty. But soon we will talk about what God offers, what you can put in the place of what you depend on too much.
Yesterday we looked at bitterness. If you come up with more names of people you need to forgive, just go back and pray that prayer again or declare to God you have forgiven them. This is a process.
Today we are looking at pride. The Pharisee’s monologue sounds more like a list of accomplishments than a prayer. And how convenient is it to say, “Well, at least I didn’t do that” and feel proud because we never sinned in that specific way. We are not that bad.
The tax collector, on the other hand, begged for mercy. He knew he was a sinner and that only God could forgive.
When you are prideful, you compare yourself to someone else and find the other person lacking. Or you compare yourself to God, and conclude that you can make better decisions for your life than He can.
Is pride on your plate? This is a tricky one, because rarely are we aware of our level of pride. Ask God to reveal it to you, and leave time and space for Him to bring to mind times you have been prideful. We all struggle with it.
To Think/Pray About Today
Prayer: Lord God, I repent of pride. I repent of putting myself as a god in my life rather than submitting to you. I repent of judging others rather than seeing them as your children. Forgive me, cleanse me of my pride, and give me humility. Let me see myself and others the way you see me, as your son/daughter. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Cedarville United Presbyterian Church and CedarCliff Ministerial Association