Thank You, God, That I’m Not A Shallow Christian

“Thank You, God, That I’m Not A Shallow Christian!”

Do people really say that kind of thing?  I think they do….they may not say it in those exact words.   I have done it myself.  Sometimes, we can’t help ourselves and the ugly self-righteous side comes out. We  want to be “God honoring” in every aspect of our lives….and rather than realize we lack some godly quality, we latch onto someone with whom we can compare ourselves and come out better.
While we may not say these words exactly, we feel them or most definitely, say things that are disturbingly similar in effect….”There, Heavenly Father….see, I am doing the right thing. Aren’t You so pleased that I’m more sincere and more holy than those other people, who are so shallow and worldly?”   (Who am I kidding? We do say them, frequently…especially online;  just spend a little time trolling social media and it won’t take long to hit a mother lode of indignant self-righteousness.)
I have had this passage below on my mind since yesterday.  It  is a great passage for Christians to read, when we may have climbed up on a high horse about our own righteousness.
Luke 18:9-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The link below will take you to a parallel version, in case you’d like to compare the passage against other translations.

Forgive me, for I have sinned in this way many, many times.   If we take a close, honest look at ourselves, we may not like what we see, but thankfully, there is forgiveness, there is mercy.  Let’s extend those to others.

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