Luk 18:9-12, 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘…, (NIV)
How often do we measure the success of our walk by our accomplishments rather than look to His accomplishment for us on the cross? If you live by “how to” (performance), you will be discouraged the days you do not pray, read the word, or reach others the way you should. This is how we become idolaters when our joy comes and depends on our accomplishments or performance.
Jesus gave this parable to the self righteous who looked down on others. The Pharisee prayed because he felt worthy by his accomplishments. He was not a robber, evildoer, adulterer. He prayed, fasted, gave alms to the poor. He trusted his righteous accomplishments to get him more blessings, and he did all to be seen of men. Majority of us may not do it to be seen of men but of God as to “how to” get blessings from God. The tax collector in his few words of prayer went home justified, he knew how unworthy he was and craved MERCY. Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. And grace is getting what you absolutely don’t deserve.We are saved by hope, purified by it, blessed by it, kept by it, favored by it. This walk is that of mercy not merit.