I heard about a fifth grader that came home from school so excited. She had been voted “prettiest girl in the class.” The next day she was even more excited when she came home, for the class had voted her “the most likely to succeed.” The next day she came home and told her mother she had won a third contest, being voted “the most popular.”

But the next day she came home extremely upset. The mother said, “What happened, did you lose this time?” She said, “Oh no, I won the vote again.” The mother said, “What were you voted this time?” She said, “most stuck up.”

Well this Pharisee would have won that contest hands down. He had an “i” problem. Five times you will read the little pronoun “i” in these two verses. He was stoned on the drug of self. He suffered from two problems: inflation and deflation. He had an inflated view of who he was, and a deflated view of who God was.

His pride had made him too big for his spiritual britches. C. S. Lewis once said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you are looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.”

James Merritt, Collected Sermons, ChristianGlobe Networks, Inc.

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