Which One Are You?
9-12He 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.' 13"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.'" 14Jesus 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 18:10-14, The Message)
Which one of the people in the story above describes you? Which one do you want to be? Which one are you like the most? Which one are you like the least?
Me? Most of the time I think I've got it all figured out. I'm the one that "gets it" and others don't. I'm the one that postures and positions myself to look good in front of others. I have actually said things like this to my wife, "You know honey, I know that I'm not that great of a husband but have you heard about what Dan has been doing to his wife and family?" I want to be more like the tax man. He examined his heart and admitted his sin. He humbled himself. He wasn't a poser. He confessed his sin to God and to others.
In my opinion, the tax man is the person that Jesus describes below:
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God"--Matthew 5:8
I want to be more like the tax man.