Luke 18:10-14 ESV
10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 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!’ 14 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.”
Pride is a dangerous thing; spiritual pride is downright deadly. The interesting thing is that as I read of the attitude of the Pharisee, it reminds me of the attitude that can easily begin to infect the Christian community. Of course we would never call it pride or boasting, we call it giving a testimony, and when we try to one up each other’s stories, it is not trying to make our ministry look more important or more effective than someone else’s, it is “giving the glory to God.” It also comes across when one of our primary focuses of ministry is about how many people attend ours versus someone else’s.
Perhaps what Jesus was trying to get across to us is that if we spend a little more time making sure our hearts are right before him, and focus on promoting the Kingdom rather than us then we will be the people he wants us to be. I just know, that I don’t ever want to fall into the attitude of the Pharisees. Father help me to stay humble before you and before others so that in all I do, you are glorified.