Luke 18:10 – 14 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Friends, I have to confess to you, I used to be one of those Pharisees. I had strict lists of dos and don’ts, of rights and wrongs, and if anyone crossed over to the wrong side of one of my lists, I looked at them with self-righteous pity. “Oh, poor Brother So-and-so. He has really gotten sucked into sin. I must remember to pray for him. I’m so glad I’m not like that.”
But then over time, Jesus began to show me what I looked like from His point of view.
It wasn’t a pretty sight.
God is teaching me that there is only one judge’s seat, and it doesn’t have my name on it. I have no right to look at anyone else’s life and determine them to be sinners. I don’t even have a right to call myself holy. I certainly don’t have the right to declare myself better than anyone else.
You see, God has a job, and I have a job. And the job descriptions aren’t even similar.
It is God’s job to judge. And He is a good and righteous and merciful judge, though He has little tolerance for those who refuse to recognize their own guilt.
My job is to examine my own heart, and nobody else’s. My job is to recognize the things in my own life that need improvement, and work on those things. And the great thing is, He will help me.
God will also help others to work on their issues, but that is His job, not mine. When I start doing His job, people feel defensive, and they will get a skewed idea of God’s character. They will feel judged, not loved, because I am not qualified to do His job for Him.
My job is to love others, and to introduce them to His love, so that He can help them as He helps me. When I do my job and let Him do His job, people are drawn to His love. Then, He helps them to sort out their own issues. And He is qualified to do that.
So, friends, I have had to make a few changes in the way my mind works. I’ve had to learn to look at myself from God’s point of view. And let me tell you, that’s pretty humbling. I’m so glad He doesn’t judge me as harshly as I have judged others. I’m so glad He is good and loving and merciful.
I hope in the future, I can remember to stick to my job of judging myself and loving others, instead of loving myself and judging others.
Dear Father, Please forgive me for my self-righteous, judgmental attitudes. Help me to see myself as You see me. Help me to love others as You love them.