The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” Luke 18:11
I am a good person. I don’t cheat on my taxes. I don’t sleep around. I am not purposefully cruel to people. I do my part. When I look at the world and all the bad actors out there, I feel fairly justified in indulging in a little self-righteous indignation.
When we feel this way, we find we are the Pharisee in this story. It’s not that we are completely prideful, but there is more than a little condescension in the way we look at others. We overstate our own goodness as we look with disapproval on the lives and decisions of others. But being a good person is not just about being the least offensive creature on the planet. Jesus said no one but God alone is good. Therefore, we should be honest with ourselves and confess our sins to God. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. That is the truth. And it is good to admit it to ourselves, and to God.
What do you think of yourself?
Lord, I am a sinner. There may be certain sins that I have been able to avoid, but I have not been able to steer clear of a fair amount of pride, self-importance, and condescension. I look down on others. I do not know if I do so in an attempt to feel better about myself, or because I am naturally inclined to submit others to a judgmentalism that I would never want to have to endure myself. Whatever the case, Lord, I am flawed. I am as broken and as sinful as the next person. Have mercy on me. Forgive me. Love me. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.