Let’s start with few questions:
What do you think about how good you are?
In what areas do you consider yourself to be proficient? Or even excellent?
In what areas are you visibly better than others?
Now: How did you get there?
Through somebody’s help, support, encouragement, time sacrificed for you? Or only through your own efforts?
The problem with the Pharisee was that he forgot that where he is now in his life is not only thorough his own efforts, through his perfection, goodness, and everything else but it is through God’s grace….God’s love.
I am a sinner so who am I to judge others??
Anything good that comes through my efforts comes through God’s grace.
This is one of the most difficult concepts to accept and one of the most important sentences I have ever found.
There is nothing good that comes out of me without God’s grace. Nothing! Zero!
Does this not sound like heresy? You gotta be kidding me God! There are so many good things I can do without you God. Don’t assign too much to yourself!!!….. : )
It took me several years to accept this phrase as the truth, to acknowledge and agree that I am a poor sinner. I am miserable. I am nobody without God.
There have been a few times that I had those moments of revelation when I experienced that truth.
That there can be nothing good that comes from me without God’s grace
This small truth opened the gates for a totally new perspective on life.
What kind of perspective? What kind of reality?
That I not only know it in my intellect but I experience it on every level of my existence:
Whenever I do something good or great, whenever people brag about me, whenever I hear how good I am 😉
My first thoughts are that it is only through God’s grace. It is He who shapes me and guides me. It is He who blesses me with His gifts and charisma.
It is not me.
It allows me to remain humble…to keep the right perspective in my life.
There is nothing I achieved or accomplished that is good without God.
So I remain thankful. I know how much of a “nobody” I am without Him.
It is a beautiful experience.
And when I see others, see your struggles, your suffering, your weaknesses, I don’t think God thinks that I am much better than you. No.
In my spirit I bow before God and pray for you.
There is nothing good that comes from me without God’s grace.
It took me few years to understand it and to accept it.
It may take few days, weeks for you to get it.
Don’t give up. Please, ask God for His grace and a measure of His wisdom.
This is one of the few doors in the house of your life, which when opened towards God, brings the freshness of God’s spirit and His grace into your life.
Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14