Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else. Luke 18:9 (NLT)
The story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector starts off with our text for today. Jesus told it to get the attention of people who thought they were better than someone else. And of course, we as Christians know this is wrong and we should never do it.
So we don’t. Right? Wrong. I can tell you I do it. I don’t want to do it but the thoughts pop into my head. It’s not usually around someone’s job or affluence, it doesn’t involve race or ethnic origin, where they grew up or how educated they are. What do I judge? Christians.
I hold Christians to a higher standard than I hold anyone else. I don’t tout my religious accomplishments like the Pharisee in the story because I know that doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things….that’s not my measuring stick. What I do wonder is how if you are a Christian you (pick something and put it in here). For example, how can you be so legalistic when it’s all about grace? How can you not want to be involved in ministry when we are called to serve? How can you not understand……? Stuff like that. I tend to think Christians should know better.
And that makes me just like the Pharisee in the story.
You see, whether you are judging people for their profession, their race, their job, their income, or their walk with God, it’s wrong. God calls us to love each other unconditionally just as he did. He calls us to show up in people’s lives where ever that may be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a preconceived notion about someone and after I talked to them found out I was completely wrong. Shame on me.
Now, I will take my Pharisaical self and plead like the tax collector did in the story “O Lord, have mercy on me, for I am a sinner.”