Today’s Scripture: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Luke 18:11-12
There was once a frog who sat on his lily pad in the pond, watching the herons soar through the air. He desperately wanted to be able to fly like the herons, and proceeded to hatch a plan to accomplish this. He asked a heron to hold one end of a ribbon in his beak, and the frog would hold the other end of the ribbon in his mouth.
The heron took off, and the frog finally experienced the exhilaration of flight. As they soared over the fields, a farmer looked up at this amazing sight and said, “Well, that is a clever idea. I wonder who thought of it?”
The frog opened his mouth, and as he answered, “I did!”, he fell to his doom.
The moment we say, “I did!”, we begin to go down. The Pharisee in our passage today was very impressed with himself. Can’t you just hear him demeaning and looking down upon the publican? As he rattled off a list of sins that the publican was most likely guilty of, the Pharisee didn’t even comprehend that he was just as sinful. He was so glad that he was guilty of “none of the above”, yet he didn’t even realize the depths of his self-righteousness.
If we think within ourselves, “Well, I’m not as bad as that person” or “I never have an attitude like that Pharisee”, we need to watch out! We are probably very guilty of having that attitude. Tomorrow, we will see how that attitude can be overcome as we look at the response of the publican.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.