Luke 18:9-14, And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
This is not only a sad passage above, it’s a sobering passage. Especially for those of of us who have known the Lord for awhile. Those of us who have had the Spirit of God change us, those of us who are “different” than the average “sinner,” and for those of who, whether we realize it or not, might have been overcome with a proud and “religious” spirit!
Has God ever shown you the pride in your own heart? He has me. And, I sadly confess, it’s on a fairly regular basis. And, it’s not a pretty sight!
While reading another passage in Luke’s Gospel this morning, I was reminded that true humility is recognizing that regardless of how long we have served, what accomplishments we have seen, or how many people “pat us on the back,” we are still “unprofitable servants” (LK 17:7-10).
Someone has rightly said, “All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”
We need to go to Calvary daily. We need to drop in humility at the foot of the Cross and allow Christ to deal with our sins, rather than focusing our attention on the sins of those around us!
Self-righteousness reveals a heart filled with pride, it makes God sick, and it literally “turns off” the very ones we are called by Christ to reach with the Gospel of Christ!