Luke 18:9-14 (NIVUK)
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”
13 ‘But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
14 ‘I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
Often when we have insecurities, we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others… pointing out their differences, finding ways to put them down so that we feel better. In the passage today the Pharisee does just that.
How often do we do this, usually without thinking?
When we find ourselves pushing the trolley down the supermarket aisle, watching the parent struggling with the child having a tantrum, giving thanks it’s not us,
When we judge someone by the language they speak, the clothes they wear, or the way they parent…
What would it take to step over our old ways of thinking, and not to judge, be envious or insecure?
Perhaps we need a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing,
A broadening of our horizons?
Remind us that just as the view on the horizon changes depending on our perspective, so too can how we view others…
Broaden our horizons,
Give us understanding,
So that we may see those around us as you do,
Let us look on them with compassion,
Let us regard them favourably,
And let us reach out to them with love.