“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14
“I’m Bill W., and I’m an alcoholic.” In these now famous words, Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, demonstrated the first step to recovery—admitting he had a problem.
Many religious leaders in Jesus’ lifetime suffered from pride. In today’s verse, Jesus compared a known sinner with one of those leaders, one who wouldn't admit his failings, so he didn’t receive forgiveness.
In contrast, the tax collector took the AA route and admitted he had a problem. His posture demonstrated his repentance. He entered the temple complex but stood afar off from the temple itself, simply grateful to be allowed within the gate.
He stood, perhaps because kneeling would have drawn attention to himself. He didn’t lift his eyes—let alone his arms—as was usual in prayer. He beat on his chest in sorrow. “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Everything he did revealed his humility.
And the God who “shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6) overlooked the arrogant religious leader and forgave the penitent sinner.
How often do we forget our need for God’s forgiveness? We’ll never receive all God has for us if we think we don’t need Him. But for those who approach Him in humility, acknowledging their sin and seeking the salvation only He offers, He gives them spotless new lives and makes them citizens of the heavenly kingdom. He saves them.
In what area of your life do you need mercy from God? Humble yourself and admit your need for Him. He longs to show His favor to you today.
Darlene Franklin is a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction works who serves Christ by writing for Him from a nursing home. Visit her on Facebook at DarleneFranklinFun and read her bio at the end of the book to learn more.
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