The Honest Sinner
Philosophy View of Honest
Free of deceit, truthful and sincere
Biblical View of Honest
Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Proverbs 12:22 KJV
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32 KJV
For most of my childhood I attended church, I had to go to church almost every Sunday and mid-week services. I was not fully committed in my Christian journey at that time because I was young and didn’t understand much about what being a Christian entails, but to protect my family's reputation I had to pretend like I was all in. Deep down in my heart though I yearned to truly serve God, I felt in my soul that someday I would commit myself fully to Him. We can learn a lot about ourselves if we will listen to our own prayers. Perhaps we may even notice there is a desire within us.
The book of Luke 5:1-11 echoes that Peter encountered Jesus and later became one of Jesus’ disciple, Peter remained unconfident about his own suitability. Until the time Jesus guided Peter to an astounding catch of fish which nearly sank his precious boat, Peter had been hanging around Jesus, on and off, for a while. Still Peter felt himself to be unsuitable: “Go away from me, Lord, for I am s sinful man.”
However, Peter being a ‘sinner’ didn’t disqualify him from Jesus’ group, and neither did his underlying insecurities. Jesus expected to be working with sinners, and preferred honest ones. Many of us, like Peter, disqualify ourselves from actively serving God. We tell ourselves and God that we are not good enough. We may convince ourselves with this message, but we won’t convince God.
Life in God's Kingdom involves an attitude of humility and repentance on our part. Jesus, addressed those He trusted in their own piety and righteousness and scorned everyone else.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable.
Luke 18:9 KJV
Jesus told a parable about two men, a Pharisees and tax collector.
Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you; this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Luke 18:10-14 KJV
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer, I thank you God, that I am not a Sinner like everyone else. Then he listed all his own accomplishments: His good work for God. He appears self-righteous, self-absorbed, and self-confident. Another translation says that the Pharisees prayed about himself, (Luke 18:11 NIV). Indeed, his focus was very much on himself instead of on worshipping God. Honesty is truthfulness, an honest person has the habit of making accurate, trustworthy statements about life, self, others, and God. An honest person represents himself just as he is and tells others the truth about themselves.
The tax collector on the other hand, knew his need for forgiveness. According to the book of Luke 18:13 the tax collector beat his chest in sorrow saying, “O God, be merciful unto me, for I am a sinner”.
“But the tax collector stood a distance. He would not even look up to Heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me a sinner’.
Luke 18:13 NIV
That tax collector call things by their real names, he was honest about his spiritual condition and cast himself on the grace and mercy of God. Jesus said that this tax collector went home justified. We can learn a lot about ourselves if we will listen to our own prayers. Perhaps we may even notice there is a Pharisee within us. It is easy to judge this man in Jesus’ story, until we are honest enough to look within our heart.
You can repeat this little saying with me: One day I found within my heart.
One who would be there form the start, a prudish person— self appointed
Self- sufficient--- self- anointed, though I, a true disciple be, I have met the Pharisees in me.
Those of us who lives in God's Kingdom must learn to walk through life with soft steps, never trampling the grace of God under the feet of our ignorance and pride. We must never forget to be thankful for our redemption and never take ourselves too seriously. We need to explore the Scriptures, and to follow the example of Jesus, who was meek and humble of heart. We must be honest about our spiritual condition and pray like the tax collector ‘O God be merciful unto me for I am a Sinner’.
Prayer is the place we go to remind ourselves that bent knees, wet eyes and heartbroken over our wayward ways opens the door to forgiveness and peace. Practising such humility, moment by moment and day by day brings glory to the King which you profess to worship and honour.
May we all live our lives with the humility and honesty that brings us closer to God and others, read and be blessed.