(13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.Luke 18:13
Here we see a second man with a very different attitude. He has an attitude of humility. As has been revealed so many ways in the book of Luke, those who know that they are sinful and admit are the ones to whom God responds.
Look at the position of humility. He was standing “afar off”. He was not in the middle of everything trying to attract attention. Here it seems as if he was away from the crowd.
Look at the posture of humility. He has his head bowed and his eyes down.
Look at his expression of humility. He smote his breast, a common expression of anguish and remorse. His words expressed it as well. “God be merciful to me a sinner”. It is not much. It is not long.
Several questions come to mind that will help us point our lives toward this kind of attitude.
- Do I express my worship to God and not to be seen of men?
- Is my public prayer life outpacing my private prayer life? Do I pray more in public than in private?
- Do my prayers include confession and repentance?
- When was the last time I wept over my sin?
Which question is most convicting to you today? What do you need to do in response?