This is Holy Week. That seems a good time to look at how Jesus challenged followers to live. While we sometimes become the praying Pharisee, Jesus expected something else.

While we won’t admit to it, most (all?) people put other people into people categories based on their degree of sin(fulness).

Perhaps you know the story: A Pharisee, one of a group of zealous laypeople, went to church to pray. He man-prayingnoticed a tax collector there, hated as collaborators and thieves. So the religious Pharisee told God that he was better than the tax collector, and explained why. Except the Pharisee left unforgiven, while the tax collector, humbled by his own life of sin, went out forgiven (Luke 18:9-14).

How can that be?

5040034-jesus-christ-statue-in-crossReligious people who go to church and tithe and sit on committees and obey denominational doctrine must be right with God, right?

God told James to write, “If someone obeys all of God’s laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them. After all, the one who said, ‘Never commit adultery,’ is the same one who said, ‘Never murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but you murder, you become a person who disobeys God’s laws. Talk and act as people who are going to be judged by laws that bring freedom. No mercy will be shown to those who show no mercy to others. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:10-13 God’s Word).

Oh, so we all carry the sin guilt of every sin. And we lose the right to condemn others. Any lack of mercy condemns us.

Turn your proud spirit inside out and upside down and re-shape it into the form of Jesus behaviour.

Make every week holy, just as God is holy.