To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
1. Comparison starts with I
I thank you
I am not like other people
I fast twice a week
This Pharisee was attributing righteousness to himself based on the performance of someone else not his relationship with God.
Matthew 23:23 23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
2. If it’s not for the right thing it’s not right.
Being thankful for the wrong thing is as bad as not being thankful at all.
If your thankfulness requires someone to be poor or evil, stop it.
It’s ’s easy to only compare yourself to people worse off than you and it feels good when someone who has more than you fails so you can start comparing yourself to them.
3. Thankfulness can never be dependent on comparison.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Thanksgiving is a prerequisite not a postmortem.
We enter with thanksgiving we don’t wait till we see how we end up in the order.
When you realize the grace you’ve received you can thank God for the people around you.