Who is the leader of your life? Who are the authority figures in your life? Who exercises control?
Consider the story of two people with very different attitudes
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
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. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“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.’
“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.”
To reflect on
Who do you think the first person is taking their lead from? Clues are that he draws attention to himself, using “I” four times. His prayer also compares the example of his life, with others.
And the second person? As He is asking for mercy… looking for help… open to change… and believing? Who does he seem to be taking his lead from?
One who thought he was excluded, was welcomed by God. Jesus said that the other praying man was sure that by doing all the right things, he belonged, but he did not go home justified before God.