“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself [forsaking self-righteous pride] will be exalted.”
– Luke 18:14
Additional reading: Luke 18:9-11, 12-14
Have you ever seen someone doing something so blatantly wrong and immediately thought to yourself, “How could they do something like that?” or “I would never do something like that?” In that quick moment and simple thought process is where we find ourselves puffed up with pride and exalting ourselves over that person. Here in chapter 18 of Luke, Jesus is addressing a group of people that thought they had it all together, too. Verse 9 says, “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable.” He goes on to compare two different men. One is a sinner with a repentant heart. The other did all the right things but was full of pride and looked down on others. This passage is a good reminder that our walk with the Lord is not just about our works. Faith without works is dead, and works full of pride and self-righteousness lead to a dangerous place.
“…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
– Romans 3:23 (NIV)
Just because we are not doing something wrong in a particular moment does not mean that we need the forgiveness and grace of God any less than someone else. Matthew 7:5 talks about examining your own life before you pick apart what’s wrong with someone else. It says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” It is very likely that if you truly examine your heart before the Lord and ask Him to reveal something that you could work on, He will bring something to mind.
Faith without works is dead, and works full of pride and self-righteousness lead to a dangerous place.
We need to remember that we are a continual work in progress. None of us have reached Jesus’ status, and we won’t until we are with Him in heaven. We need to be compassionate to those around us like Jesus was, even in their struggles and imperfection. They need God’s love, not our judgment.
Let your light shine,