Gossiping To God

We never really get away with gossiping, whether in prayer or just to our family and friends. Here is a parable that Jesus told that has many observations about a what God responds to and does not respond to.

“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” – Jesus Christ in Luke 18:10-13

This video is a great depiction of Jesus teaching this story.

Seven Lessons

I can glean at least seven lessons from this quick story about the Pharisee and the Publican.

  1. This person Jesus described thanked God about his superiority, he broadcasted it. Even his prayers essentially became gossiping.
  2. This man kept a mental log which he listed about his superior way of living
  3. This Pharisee mixed self-righteousness with his religion (he went up to pray).
  4. This man deeply and profoundly misunderstood God. This is obvious because he is talking directly with God, displaying his self-righteousness openly.
  5. This man’s list of deeds concealed his self-righteousness and accomplished nothing spiritually. That list of things he had done were themselves the reward. God was not impressed or moved by them.
  6. The sinner stood afar off just asking God for mercy. This was the preferred way to move God, not the list of good things but repentance and humility.
  7. Jesus Christ is paying attention to how people approach him, and he is not pleased with self-righteousness.

What other things can you glean from this parable of Jesus?

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