This passage in Luke, rightfully, is often used in the church to admonish the people about how they view other Christians. This passage speaks truth to the world, no matter their beliefs. Almost every person is a Pharisee. It is part of the fallen human condition. We compare ourselves to others. All too often we look to others to evaluate ourselves, whether we are looking at success or failure.
In the case of the Pharisee in the passage, he is looking at the “sinful” state of the tax collector. To the Pharisee, the tax collector was “contaminated” by being a tax collector. The Pharisee condemned the tax collector by an earthly state, not a spiritual one.
The world will often judge us (and we judge the world) by careers, location, origin, and many other things. The list is long. The issue is, as it was for the Pharisee, is that this mentality is a barrier to our repentance and salvation. If we constantly, compare our ways to others (whether good or bad), we are focused on ourselves and others, and not God.
Often we are blind to our ignorance. Paul reminds us that worldly wisdom is not all that wise in comparison to God’s wisdom. What we choose to look at in another person, may not be what God is looking at, and God is the judge.
When we focus on God’s wisdom we get something foolish to the world, God’s righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
1) Do you ever compare yourself to others? If so, what areas in particular? If no, are you really sure?
2) How does comparing ourselves to others hamper our spiritual growth?
3) How do you boast in God? How have you heard others boast in God?
Action: Ask God to forgive you when you think too much of yourself, and when you think too little of yourself, and to give you wisdom with both.