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When is independence a good thing, and when can it be a dangerous thing?



Read Luke 18:9-14

One of the ways that we can drift in our faith is from a true repentance into an image-based spirituality that trusts in self and looks down on others. We wouldn’t consciously choose this, but in time it naturally will grow in us. Jesus’ parable flips our expectation on its head by stating that the repentant sinner is acceptable to God, while the proud and moral teacher is not. The Christian life is one of repentance, seeking God’s mercy instead of trusting in our self.


Discussion Questions

  1. Like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable, do you find yourself comparing yourself to the sins of others? How do you avoid falling into this comparison game?

  2. The Pharisee based his relationship with God on his moral performance, fasting and tithing. On what things are people today tempted to base their relationship with God?

  3. How is pride in opposition to the gospel? What makes them incompatible?

  4. What does the posture and prayer of the tax collector communicate? What’s his attitude?

  5. How often do you make it a practice to repent and seek God’s mercy? How often should you?