Two men came into church one Sunday; one of them a member of the choir, the other a part of the local gang. The choir member stood up front and declared,
“Lord, I thank you that I am not one of the bad people, a criminal like that gang banger I saw walking in. Aren’t you proud of all the good I do? At the same time, the gang member kneeled in the back and hung his head. He was too broken to look up to heaven and pounded his chest out of his deep burden, uttering quietly, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. The choir member missed the Lord entirely that morning, but the gangster connected and did real business, eternal business with God. Ironically, only the criminal in the back row truly synced with God. This parable in Luke 18 shows us the devastating effects of self-justification and the sweet promise for those who are truly sorrowful.
“All those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be one day be exalted.” Lk 14:11
Which man do you most identify with?