Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1–13
Key verse: Luke 18:11
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.”
Most believers would balk at the idea of being labeled as having a “holier than thou” attitude. We think of classic examples of spiritual arrogance, such as the Pharisee in Jesus’ story who got on his knees to thank God that he was not as bad as some other people (Luke 18:11).
What creeps into our hearts more often is a subtle spiritual pride, a smug security that we are not vulnerable to certain kinds of sins anymore. Joni Eareckson Tada illustrates this issue in her devotional Diamonds in the Dust.
“You’ll never catch me doing that!” one might say. Oh yeah?
Upright and obedient, Noah stood alone against a carousing, lustful world that drank itself silly. Who would have thought that Noah would end up drunk?
Bold and courageous David was brave enough to go up against Goliath, the warrior giant of the Philistines; later on he made believe that he was a madman for fear of his enemies.
And consider Elijah. We take him to be a rather brave man, wielding the sword of God’s vengeance against tens of thousands. But the threat of one woman sends him into suicidal despair …
Just when you think you know yourself, you do or say something that seems so out of character. But it’s not … Don’t be surprised. Just be careful that you, too, don’t fall.
Keep me from spiritual pride, dear Lord. Let me walk in true holiness.