DayBreaks for 08/29/13 – RX: Cataract Removal
Luke 18:9-13 (NLT) – Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘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! 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.’
When we read this parable, we are quick to think about how brash and proud the Pharisee was and think that we’d never, ever make such bold statements to God! And we probably wouldn’t (though I’ve heard many people say, “I’m a good wo/man, so I’ll go to heaven” which is only a slightly tamer version of the attitude of the Pharisee in the story!) I certainly have never heard anyone pray that way. BUT…how often do we compare ourselves to others and come away feeling proud about our level of righteousness versus theirs? We may have hearts and minds full of angry thoughts, lustful thoughts, bitterness and prejudices, but because we’re not shooting up or smoking crack, because we are clean and not filthy and smelly, we look down on those who do those things. Our sins may be invisible while theirs are highly visible. And somehow, we think that makes us better than them. We wouldn’t say that to God, but we think it in our hearts. And that makes us just like the Pharisee in this story from Jesus.
When is the last time you were on your knees, beating your breast over your sinfulness? Are you even aware of your sinfulness, or have the eyes of your heart become so covered with sin cataracts that you can’t see it in yourself anymore? It happens to all of us…as the result of continuous sinful practices, one sin at a time, followed by a repetition of those acts. Blindness is the result. We need cataract removal!!!!
PRAYER: God, remove the scales from our eyes as you did with Saul of Tarsus, that we may see ourselves clearly in the blazing Light of your holy Presence! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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