Thank God I Am Not Like Them

Many times we are tempted to think we need less grace than someone else, after all my sin is so much more respectable. Even addicts often look at others with addictions and have the internal dialogue, “Wow, I’m glad my problem isn’t as bad as theirs.” How foolish and ignorant we are. But this is nothing new.

Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
 (Luke 18:10-14 ESV)

Before we look down in condescension on other wretched saints engaged in the beautiful fight, we should heed Richard Baxter who wrote:

He that hides one rebel in his house is a traitor to the Crown, and he that indulges one sin is a traitorous hypocrite.

One traitor in the house calls for as much need of grace from the King as does housing 100. Both acts carry the same title– traitor.

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
(James 2:10 ESV)

It is as if the Law, a reflection of God’s holiness, is set before us as a large pane of glass that is the shatter resistant safety type. If I were to take the smallest of hammers and attempt to break out the tiniest of pieces the whole pane would spider web shatter just as if I hit it with to the same degree as if I hit it with a sledge.

But grace is available, which God desires to pour out upon us in bucket fulls.

. . . but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
(Romans 5:20 ESV)

Hallelujah and Amen! Keep fighting.


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