“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 18:14
She walked into the sanctuary and straight to the front pew where she stood facing the altar. With her head held high and her eyes closed, she prayed to the Lord thus, “Heavenly Father, I thank You that I’m an upstanding member of society, an active Board of Trustee member of Liberty University and I donate generously to worthy causes such as Education and the Arts. I’m not a gossip. I don’t drink or smoke or spend money foolishly. I am a godly woman with a godly husband and children. I’m thankful that I’m not like other people who claim they are Christians but their lifestyle says otherwise.
“I take pride in how I look and how I conduct myself and am an example for the young women in the church. I’m grateful that I’m not like that woman over there who is making such a spectacle of herself. I can hardly hear myself think. Why do people think that they should cry out when they are praying. Praying quietly and circumspectly is more reverent and acceptable to God. Lord, I’m very thankful that I’m nothing like her. The way she is dressed is disgraceful. Anyway, Lord, it’s not for me to criticize others. You know the heart. You know mine–that it is devoted to Your service.”
After she finished praying, she walked past the pew and after casting a censorious glance in the other woman’s direction, she left the sanctuary.
The young African American woman, kneeling with hands clasped tightly and eyes squeezed shut continued to cry out, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” She poured out her heart to Him, asking Him to forgive her of all her sins and to have mercy on her. The impassioned pleas made through tears lasted for several minutes. Then, she blessed herself and stood up.
Her demeanor was different. There was a calm look on her face. She smiled as she wiped the tears away. She walked out of the sanctuary in bitter spirits. She knew that God heard and answered her prayer. She was forgiven.
Sometimes, we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others and deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are better than them. Yet, if we were to compare ourselves to God, we would recognize that we are all sinners in need of His mercy. Like the tax collector, we must acknowledge that we are sinners in need of God’s grace. It is the repentant sinner who is justified in His eyes not those who trust in their own righteousness.
Source: Business Insider