The sin of pride fuels in us a sense of entitlement. Does what you think you deserve stand up in God’s court?
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
What do you feel entitled to? Good health (I look after myself!)? …a loving family (I work hard for them!)? … favour from God (I lead a good life!)?
The Pharisee in Jesus’ story believed he had a standing before God because he was ‘confident in his own righteousness.’ He was confident that the choices he’d made in relationships, money, work, life and sacrifice meant he was entitled to some favour from God. “I have lived a good life- a life that deserves to continue in blessing”.
This is a dangerous attitude and a poor foundation for an understanding of God, especially when the reality of life and suffering crunches us.
The tax collector understood that he (and all of us) live under a constant state of grace and mercy. None of us should want what we deserve in God’s court. Jesus took what we deserve as he died on the cross. Where is pride now?
As we walk in new life with God, we can be proud of good choices we make as we love and serve others. The thankful heart we develop as we dwell on what Jesus has done for us will help us act graciously to those around us.
A sense of entitlement leads to death, but in God’s grace, a cry for mercy leads to life.
Head: What are 3 things everyday Australian’s feel entitled to? Do you feel entitled to anything from God?
Heart: How do you feel knowing that Jesus took what we truly are entitled to?
Hands: How will an attitude of thankfulness change your day today?
Prayer: Thankyou Jesus for taking what I truly deserve on the cross. Please show me mercy for the times I demand things from you and others out of a sense of entitlement. Your grace and mercy are all I need. Please grow in me a heart of thankfulness for you that will shape how I treat those around me. Please would others see that attitude in me and learn something about you, whom I follow with my life. In the name of Jesus, I pray.
A song to listen to: Grace Alone