Have you ever been around someone who has a knack for putting people down? It seems they feel good about themselves only when they’re degrading others. This could be part of this Pharisee’s motivation for thanking God that he’s not like everyone else. He may be acting more out of fear and insecurity than out of pure pride or arrogance.
It’s doubtful that you spend all your time judging everyone else. But are there other ways that you compare yourself? When you see someone’s weakness, do you use that person as a measuring stick, by asking yourself — “Am I doing better than him or worse?”
If you find yourself thinking that way, remember that God isn’t comparing you to anyone. He loves you just as you are. We may think that we all need improvement but this love of God must be the starting point for any genuine spiritual growth we experience. He just loves us, and there’s nothing we can do to make him love us any less!
As a point of reflection today, try meditating exclusively on God’s love for you. Don’t dwell on your sins. He already knows about them! Just sit in his presence, and think of all the ways he cares for you. He sent his Son to die for you. He planned from all eternity that you would be part of his kingdom. He’s constantly sending grace and blessings to keep you in his love. If you reflect on this long enough, you won’t worry about how your neighbor is doing. You’ll be too busy thanking God!