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Humility Before God

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. —Luke 18:14

In Luke 18:10–11, we read about two men who went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. Jesus said, “The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers—or even like this tax collector here.” Then he went on to list all of his good works.

What I like about this passage is that the Bible does not say the Pharisee was praying to God. It says he went into the temple to pray, but he prayed “thus before and with himself.” Here we read about a man who appeared to be praying, and yet the Bible says he was not even talking to God; he was talking to himself! I think sometimes we also pray to impress people, maybe even to impress ourselves. Let’s be honest: we can be impressed with our own eloquence. When we are talking to God and trying to hear from Him in agreement with someone else or with a group of people, we have to be very careful that we are not preaching to the other people and that we are not simply trying to sound super spiritual, but that we are really sharing our hearts with God. Agreement is incredibly powerful, but it has to be pure, and it has to come from a place of humility.

God’s word for you today: God sees all the good works you have done in secret and He will reward you.


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