Over the years I’ve met lots of people who, for some reason believe they are being like Christ when they are filled with self-righteousness. For some reason, people think they are being like Christ when they are filled with self-righteousness when actually, the opposite is true.
On one occasion, Jesus told a story about a Pharisee and a tax-collector who went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”
But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
In this story, Jesus is teaching us that humility, not self-righteousness is the key to following Christ. In the sermon-on-the-Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek…”. He was referring to humility.
So, we are more like Christ when we humble ourselves before the Lord than we puff out our chest before the Lord. We are all sinners saved by grace, folks. Let’s humble ourselves before our Lord.