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.” - Luke 18:9-14
Today, Katy Bezet explains that Jesus told this parable to some who treated others with contempt, comparing their own self-righteousness to others’ sinful behavior. However, the tax collector approached God with a humble heart, knowing he was a sinner.
She reminds us that the Word says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble and that, as we choose to humble ourselves before Him, we can be confident that He will honor that.
Prayer is simply communicating with God. You don’t have to use big, complicated words; He just wants you to talk to Him, being honest with Him about what you’re dealing with and who you are. He can handle your big questions.
Question: Have you slipped into a habit of comparing yourself to others—whether you’re trying to make yourself feel better about yourself, or you think you’ll never measure up? Ask Jesus what He has to say about that.
Prayer Starter: Jesus, I’m sorry for measuring myself and others based on man’s standards; I’m sorry for letting self-righteousness be my standard, instead of You. I choose humility, and I ask for Your forgiveness because Your Word says that only You are holy and only You are righteous. I receive Your forgiveness, and I choose to fix my eyes on You today. Thank You that I don’t have to fix everything before talking to You....I can just talk to You.
Family Chat: Prayer has two parts: talking and listening. Which one are you better at?
Take Action: Read one Psalm every day for the next 30 days, making it a prayer to our God who passionately loves you.