Yesterday I was listening to Kristal Tippet of On Being interviewing E.J. Dione and David Brooks. I picked up on term phrases: “Sin is disordered loves,” and “Grace is undeserved happiness.”
Disordered loves, which I believe is from Augustine, was exemplified by the Pharisee in Jesus parable from Luke 18. He trusted in himself. He treated others with contempt. He thanked God that he was not like other men. But apparently he was a self – made man and God’s only part in it all was to verify his self-rightness and fitness to stand before God. He did go home happy in his self – worship.
The Tax Collector stood in the corner and stared at his feet. He beat his chest, not in braggadocio but in unworthiness to even appear before God. He had nothing to brag about in his life except, like the Pharisee, acting in self – interest without regard for others. But his reaction was to plea for underserved grace. He confessed he was a man who had missed the mark in regard God’s will for his life. He could do nothing other than plea for mercy.
Jesus said, the Tax Collector went home justified by God as a man who was righteous and blameless. He went home filled with undeserved happiness.
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, You are always more ready to hear than we to pray and always ready to give more than we either desire or deserve. Pour down on us the abundance of Your mercy; forgive us those things of which our conscience is afraid; and give us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask except by the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord.