Humility - The Posture of Promotion
Jesus tells a parable in Luke 18 that shows us all the path the posture of the heart that God promotes.
In Jesus day, the tax collectors were considered the scum of the earth. They worked for the Romans, Israel’s enemy occupiers, by overtaxing their own people and lining their pockets with profits.
In contrast, Pharisees were the cream of the crop in society during Jesus day. They were well educated and well versed in the O.T. Scriptures. They followed their Jewish laws to the letter and held the most prominent positions in Jewish society.
Jesus uses these 2 extreme examples in Jewish society to show the type of heart that God values.
Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)
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.”
God values humility over piety.
God values honesty over self-confidence.
We can choose to humble ourselves, like the tax collector and be promoted by God or we can trust in our self-righteousness, like the Pharisee, and be humiliated.
When we go to pray, let’s take the posture that God promotes.
A person on his face can never fall from that position.
Stay low, be humble.