One of the hardest lessons we all have to deal with in life is that we are often wrong and facing that reality can be tough at any age. The hardest reality we have to admit though is that we are not always right or righteous before our Lord. Our pride wants us to defend our goals, our outlook, and our understanding of things.
Some time ago, my husband and I watched the movie "The Shawshank Redemption", and one of the lines in this prison movie stayed with me. The new inmate was asked if he really committed the murder he was incarcerated for. He replied that he was innocent. The older prisoner laughed and told him that if he asked anyone around him they would all say the same! All of them were innocent too. None of them belonged in prison.
This brings me to the Scripture I wanted to share found in Luke 18:9-14. Jesus told a parable about two men going to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed with a great deal of pride telling God how happy he was that he was so righteous and good. The other man could only bow in humility before the Holy God and cry for mercy. Jesus summed it all up in verse 14: "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." The tax collector went away justified and the Pharisee was not.
Basically, one man was willing to confess that he was in need of forgiveness while the other did not feel he needed it. How much are we like that Pharisee? Do we see our need on a day to day basis for God's forgiveness and mercy in our lives? Are we willing to humble ourselves and admit our deep need for God and His answers? If we can face reality and what the Word says ("All have sinned and come short of the glory of God", Romans 3:23), then, we will be able to walk in the healing forgiveness of God.
As long as we claim innocence before God, we will still be held prisoner by our sins. God's blessings cannot come to us. But daily, if we will acknowledge our sins before God, He will remove the weight, the stain and the pain from our hearts so we can serve Him. May we be as humble before the Lord as that tax collector! Selah!