I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The above Scripture is the summation of the parable of the Pharisee and the sinner. The Pharisee had been acknowledged as the holy one in the church. Indeed, his deeds were good: he prayed, read Scripture, tithed, gave to the poor. His problem? He made sure no one--not even God--forgot. He probably even corrected those who lacked in their faith in efforts to make them holy or get them saved.
The other guy? He didn't have a resume. He knew only one thing: he was a sinner and unworthy of all God gave. He admitted where he was weak and asked for help.
I wish I was holy, but I'm not. I hear people disparage those who do egregious things, and shame burns because I know that I certainly am capable of doing the same things--both as a sinner and a Pharisee. I can envy those who know their faith is flawless and they please God in every detail, that their salvation is irrefutable and that God is lucky to have them on His side. I'm lucky Jesus accepts me--warts and all.
And I write this in grief because I am a sinner and I am who I am and others must remind me of my lacks. Without Jesus I cannot change.
And I wonder...how do you deal with the Pharisees in the church?