A Parable Of Humility

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Jesus shares a parable today about a Pharisee who in praying thanked God that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.” In the parable, there was also a tax collector as the Pharisee mentioned that “would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” 

This Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector from the Gospel of Luke 18 reminds me that I have been both the Pharisee and the Tax Collector throughout my journey with the Lord. I am reminded that no matter how close I think I am with the Lord, how great my prayer life is or even how blessed I think I am, I cannot be the Pharisee. The following words from Jesus encourage me to be a humble sinner like the Tax Collector as He says, “I tell you, the latter (Tax Collector) went home justified, not the former (Pharisee); for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I can never know the heart and soul of a person. Only God knows. If I humble myself, there will never be a need to judge another but only to love my neighbor as Jesus has commanded. In honesty and truth, I have no room to judge another’s heart or intentions. I will need to leave that for the Lord.

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Mike Burke; Sunday, October 23, 2016
A Parable Of Humility

Too Much Pharisee In Me

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There is still too much Pharisee in me. My morning was a good reminder that there is still much work to be done in me within. From the outside when you see me, I think most times I will give you the impression that all is well and most times it is. I am not trying to fool you to thinking I have it all together. If I converse with someone, I enjoy the honesty of life issues in listening and in sharing. But today, was different.

I was out of the house at 6:15am this morning and my drive was 2 hours and 22 minutes to get to work. Yesterday, I had to leave work right at closing to travel to a choir rehearsal. I got home at 11:30pm and in bed by 12:30am. I am saying this to give myself some kind of excuse for my behavior this morning but there is really no excuse.

To set a little background on me, I was a coach, aggressive, yeller, cusser, doing anything to win, etc. Today, I do everything I can, by the grace of God, to be the total opposite of that type of behavior. I cannot remember the last time I cussed in public. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I raised my voice.

The Gospel today from Luke 11:37-41 has a Pharisee judging Jesus because He did not do the ceremonial washing before reclining at table to eat. Jesus’ words hit home for me today … “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Today, I judged truck drives, motorcyclists, drivers changing lanes and pretty much anyone that did not meet my expectations. Knowing there were accidents, I had little pity for victims of the accident and judgmentally blaming them for causing accidents and causing me the stress of possibly being late. And, I was again the 4 letter word master within the confines of my car.

My point is that I need to seek, accept and apply God’s grace to clean myself within. Like the Pharisee, my outside seems to be working ok but my inside still has its plunder and evil. Consequently, I arrived at work on time, setup the office since I had to leave early yesterday and still with time to spare, contemplated all the unnecessary foolish stress and frustration I caused myself this morning. Lord have mercy.

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Mike Burke; Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Too Much Pharisee In Me