TODAY, it is worse to judge evil than to do evil – Os Guinness. But in the days of Christ, it was the opposite.
Whenever people did things that were contrary to the ways of the kingdom, he called them out.
ONE DAY, Jesus told his audience the parable of two men who went to the temple to pray: one of them is a pharisee, and the other is a despised tax collector.
The pharisee prayed in honour of himself.
"God, how I thank You that I am not on the same level as other people—crooks, cheaters, the sexually immoral—like this tax collector over here.
Just look at me! I fast not once but twice a week, and I faithfully pay my tithes on every penny of income."
Over in the corner, the tax collector wouldn't even lift his eyes to heaven. But pounds on his chest and says, "God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:9-13)
What are you seeking?
MANY OF US are seeking status; we want a higher place in the mind of people.
The pharisee can be considered as a rich man, but you don't have to be wealthy to assume that you have a higher status or are better than someone else.
Status is an attitude of the mind.
When the pharisee felt he was better than the tax collector, he fed his ego. He walked in hot air.
James 2 makes it clear that if you look down on anyone, you have sinned.
Where are you standing?
THE PHARISEE stood in his righteousness—not knowing that it was like a filthy rag. (Is. 64:6)
He allowed the view of himself to cloud his judgement.
Are you allowing the view that you have of yourself to cloud your judgement?
If you are, you need to repent and ask God for forgiveness.
What do you have?
HE SOUNDED like a self-made man who said, 'I faithfully pay my tithes on every penny of income.'
His works took the front seat, while the grace of God had no place—and where the grace is not evident, God isn't present.
Who says that you are any better than other people? What do you have that wasn't given to you? If you were given what you have, why are you bragging as if it weren't a gift? (1 Cor. 4:7)
What do you know?
THE JOB that you do is not better than someone else's.
Your ministry is not more vital than another's. Every child of God ministers in a certain way—and we all serve the same Lord.
If being a member of a megachurch inflates your ego, something is wrong.
The gift of the Holy Spirit you have does not give you special status. He gives gifts to each person as he decides. (1 Cor. 12:11)
The only status acceptable to God isn't the one you give yourself
What does God expect of you?
JESUS SAYS that the tax collector walks home clean before God—whoever lifts himself will be put down, and whoever takes a humble place, God will give a lift.
Are you lifting yourself?
Humility is the alternative to status—and it is how you see yourself from God's viewpoint.
It is the proper sense of oneself—you are created, saved and loved by Him; not superior or better than anyone else.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it's thinking of yourself less. Humility is not a character trait to develop; it's the natural by-product of being with Jesus – C.S. Lewis.
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
GOD NEVER compares you to anyone. He sees you as you.
The only status acceptable to God isn't the one you gave yourself, but the one He gave you.
The tax collector saw himself as a sinner, but God saw a candidate for redemption.
Always remember that 'he who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only' – C. S. Lewis.
Have a great month.