Thought for the week

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths -

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.

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