The Storyteller: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector day 2
The Pharisee stood by himself thus praying, “God, I thank you because I am not like other men… even like this tax collector.” Luke 18:11 Dr. Kenneth Bailey translation
You’ve heard it - that person in a crowded environment demanding in a loud voice the service they desire and obviously deserve. “Do you know who I am? Put me at the front of the line! Take away this poorly prepared food! Give me what I want!” Everyone quietly looks the other way and feels sorry for the person trying to serve this customer.
Judgment of others creates a rift in relationship. It sets up me/them categories with a gulf in-between. The word despicable comes into our vocabulary.
Look closely and you’ll find the cause of our search for other’s faults to be an attempt to justify ourselves. How good is good enough? Do I keep more commandments then you? Goodness becomes relative. I’m better than Hitler… but let’s not bring up Mother Theresa!
This Pharisee is so convinced of his relative goodness that he wants to make the point loud enough for all to hear, especially God.
Ask the Holy Spirit to listen in on your conversations and tap your shoulder when judgmental attitudes seep into your remarks with others. Sift through the attitude of your prayers and toss out any hint of “good enough” of “better than” language. Instead, thank God for who he is.
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