The Way of Wisdom: Proverbs 18

Happy Friday! Let’s finish the week with the reading of Proverbs 18. (Click on the link to read the verses.

Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor. (NLT)

Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. He Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ’I thank you, God, that I am not like the 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 the distance and dared not 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.” Luke 18:9-14

Am I the Tax Collector? Humbled by my sins and shortcomings, ready to fall at the feet of God. Knowing that he is my only hope, and that I am not worthy. Am I willing to beg for his mercy and live in his grace?
Am I the Pharisee? Too arrogant to see that I am that sinner I so detest, basking in what I do. Am I blind to see that any good thing I have or experience in life is from God.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it is important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this Goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. Romans 12:3 MSG

Lord, forgive me for the times that my ways have been much like the Pharisee’s. When I am tempted by haughtiness, pride, or arrogance, let me be quick to remember that it is you who brings goodness to me.  Amen.

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