spiritual arrogance in prayer.
THE STORY OF THE TAX MAN AND THE PHARISEE
He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves
over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common
people: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a
tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: 'Oh, God, I thank you that
I am not like other people - robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid,
like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.'
"Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands,
not daring to look up, said, 'God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.'"
Jesus commented, "This tax man, not the other, went home made right with
God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you're going to end up
flat on your face, but if you're content to be simply yourself, you will
become more than yourself."
- Luke 18:9-14, from THE MESSAGE: THE NEW TESTAMENT IN CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE,
by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress, 1993.
[What would Jesus say about our quickness to criticize others and the way
they worship - what I call the "us-and-them" factor?]
Have a great week,
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina