WHAT'S UP REAL MEN!!!
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.”
It is really easy for us men to get caught up looking at others, and how they live, in order to justify how we are living. Because the fact of the matter is if we look at someone else, who we feel is living a “more sinful life” than we are, then we can go on living our lives the way we are living and avoid the conviction we are feeling, or at the very least we will cover up our conviction with self righteousness. But here’s the thing, scripture says that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Simply meaning, there is nothing you and I can do in our own strength to become righteous in the sight of God. But in reality it is so easy to look at others and how they are living, in order to remain how we currently living, because the fact of the matter is to be conformed into the image of Christ is not an easy feat. To be a Real Man who really loves Jesus, it comes with a cost. And that cost is us! We have to lay down our own desires, our own wants, we have to die to ourselves in order to gain Christ. There is no other way. Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life...no one can live for God except through Him. And Jesus tells us that we have to die to self in order to live for Him. Jesus is the standard, not our dads, moms, aunts, uncles, friends or coworkers. So no matter how someone else is living, the standard is Jesus. We will not be judged based on someone else’s action.
In our passage today 2 men are praying and one thinks he is righteous because he thinks others are living a “worse” life then he is. He is comparing himself to others. And the other man isn’t looking at others, he is looking at himself. He is realizing his sin and failures and begins repenting, instead of deflecting. And because of that, Jesus said he is justified before God and the other is not.
See men when we realize our need for Jesus, we stop being just men and we become Real Men! We become humble and remain humble, because we know we can’t live without Him. Scripture says the Lord never despises a broken and contrite spirit. He opposes the proud and exalts the humble. Today take your eyes off of others and keep them on Jesus. Don’t compare your life to other people's lives. Instead say Lord I know I need you because without you I am dead in my sin and trespasses, but with you I am more than a conqueror. And I know if I keep with the spirit of repentance I will be exalted by you. Allow Jesus to transform you today by keep your eyes on HIM!!!