During Pastor Scott’s sermon on Sunday, a ladder came to mind. The message was the start of the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the focus this Sunday was on the deadly sin of pride. The Scripture we read together was from Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the tax collector.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 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. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “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.’ “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.”
How sad that the Pharisee put himself on a pedestal, looking down on others. If he had only repented of his pride, he could have leaned toward humility. Our humility, as Pastor Scott reminded us, allows God to show us where we still need Him. If only this prideful man of the law could have viewed the tax collector as equal under God, not beneath him. They both needed God’s grace, just as we all do. As Scott shared, as long as you are looking down, you can’t see what is above you. Just like two climbing a ladder, in order to help someone climb behind you, you must reach down to them.
Thank you, Pastor Scott, for that timely reminder.
– Judy Frett