What kind of person are you? What sorts of things do you praise? If you were to list the things you loved, what would be at the top of the list?
- Praises things that are evil (not good).
- Makes up words that cut and deceive in order to create trouble.
- Enjoys evil more than good.
- Has a personal affection for language that destroys.
- Trusts in the abundance of his riches and is strong in evil desire.
Psalm 52 describes the “righteous” as one who does the following:
- Makes God his strength.
- Trusts in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
- Praises God for ever and ever.
- Waits for the reputation of God to be displayed.
- Sees the goodness of God before his eyes.
Luke 18:9-14 describes the “Pharisee” and the “Tax Collector”
Luke 18 describes the “Pharisee” as one who prayed this way:
- Stood up and prayed to himself.
- Thanked God he was so much better than others.
- Declared the great duty of the fasting he did.
- Proclaimed the value of the great tithe he gave.
Luke 18 describes the “Tax Collector” as one who prayed this way:
- Stood at a distance with bowed head unworthy to look to heaven.
- Smote his chest declaring his utter failure before God.
- Requested God to be merciful.
- Declared his great sinful condition (of not measuring up).
In both of these passages, we find the “mighty man” and the “Pharisee” being declared “not right” before God. Both of these people trusted in themselves, their value and their doings. They made their own determination that they were “right” before God. They drew their own conclusion based on the facts they had created.
On the other hand, the “righteous” and the “Tax Collector” left the results up to God. They lowered themselves before the mighty determination of God. Each of them leaned their trust on God’s mercy alone. They put before their eyes God’s goodness and watched for it to show up for them. They were well aware of their utter failure and “falling short” of God’s goodness admitting it freely to God.
As you consider the descriptions in Psalm 52 and Luke 18, which category best describes you? Are you the kind of person who is “right” before God? In Luke 18, Jesus said the Tax Collector went home “justified”. In other words, the Tax Collector was determined to be “right” before God. Those who are considered “right” humble themselves before God, earnestly request of God for His mercy, depend fully on Him, and continually trust for God to display His goodness.
It is when we humble ourselves before God that He will lift us up. There is no measure of personal strength, goodness, right-ness we can do to be declared “right” before God. We must seek God alone for His mercy. Begin today, possessing and displaying the characteristics of the “righteous” and “Tax Collector” described in Psalm 52 and Luke 18. Then, Praise God forever because He has “done it” — declared you “right”. You are the kind of person God declares “right”.
Written By: Anne Gurley