Scripture: Luke 18:9-14 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.
Devotional: If you’re a father – Happy Father’s Day. You have been given an incredible influence in the life of your kids. And kudos to you for diving into daily Scripture in order to equip you for the lifelong task.
When I was growing up, my dad was always right. Even when he was wrong he was “right”. If you have anyone in your life who is like that, you know how frustrating that can be. In this week’s devotions we will explore how as Christians, we can unknowingly fall into this kind of thinking.
Certainly the Pharisee in today’s passage falls into that category. No doubt he had worked very hard to do right and be right, and his continual striving evolved into a huge blind spot to his own “wrongness”. Jesus tells this story to those who were “confident in their own righteousness” it says. Truly he wanted them to trust in Him, not in themselves, to be made right. And that starts with humility.
It’s hard to be humble when you think you’re always right. And that lack of humility can be the root of judgment and anger at others’ weakness.
- Think of a time when you were convinced you were right in a given situation. What attitude resulted toward the one(s) you perceived to be wrong?
- Compare that with the attitude of the Pharisee in today’s passage. What can you take away from that comparison?