Thought for the week
HOPE FOR HONEST FAILURES “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” ( Luke 18:13) JESUS once told a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector. They both went to the temple to pray. But the Pharisee made the mistake of comparing himself with the tax collector. He wasn’t a sinner like the tax collector and assumed that he pleased God by the good religious life that he lived. He failed to recognise that he didn’t come up to God’s standard. As he refused to acknowledge or confess his sin, he was not forgiven.
The tax collector however, realised that forgiveness had nothing to do with living a good life. His life was not good and he acknowledged that he was a sinner. He found forgiveness because he knew how bad he was, confessed his sin and asked for mercy. And Jesus said he received it. The tax collector humbled himself before God and would be exalted. The Pharisee tried to exalt himself and so would be humbled.
The point of the story is that forgiveness has nothing to do with merit in the life of the individual. There is hope with God for all except the proud. Those who are honest failures will find forgiveness if they confess and turn from their sin. God is a God of mercy to those who seek him.
Rev. George Cringles Minister of Coll with Connel Parish Church of Scotland.