“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ Luke 18:10-13, ESV.
The parable about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is a favourite because we all happily mock the Pharisee for his pompous and self-righteous attitude at the front of the Temple toward the sorrowful and repentant Tax Collector at the back of the Temple. The tricky bit is that we in the Church can at times be like the Pharisee and look down on others who are not in regular Church attendance.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14.
The following thoughts on Humility are by Carey Nieuwhof. Judgment is
grounded in arrogance. That’s because a judgmental person almost always
carries with them a sense of condescension (I never get into this kind of
situation myself…you should be as good as I am) or a sense of pity (poor, stupid you). Judgment always says I’m better than you, I know more than you and I’m also superior to you. No wonder people run from it. Very few people get judged into life change. Many people get loved into it. Humility, by contrast, fosters empathy. It says “I’m like you. I get that. Maybe we can help each other.” Many people would run to that.