Humble and justified.
"I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
The tax collector in Jesus’ story had just asked God for mercy, because he knew he was a sinner - he had missed the mark. But he also knew that God is good! Jesus ended his story by saying the sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God.
If we were listening to Jesus tell this story, we never could have seen that coming! The Pharisee spent his whole life working, practicing, perfecting his shot… but is was the sinful tax collector who left in right standing with God. This is the beauty of the gospel! It is the humble who are justified.
Like the tax collector, when we trust Jesus, He takes the shots on our behalf. Because of Jesus, we no longer miss the mark. We are made right with God. Because of God’s mercy, we are also able to humble ourselves enough to infuse health into a relationship through the simple word sorry.
Today, praise God for His mercy toward you! Ask Him to help you connect his mercy with how humble you should be in your relationships.