Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him [Jesus]. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."--Luke 15:1-2
I'm a recovering Pharisee. Meaning--I am recovering from thinking I'm am the religious elite and that following Jesus Christ is all about rules, getting things right, making sure everyone knows you have all the right answers and "look good on paper". I'm recovering from being known for what I am against, and working towards being known for what I am for.
Being in recovery, I often find myself slipping back into this Pharisee mentality. I still struggle with wanting to be perfect, with wanting to get everything right and with looking foolish. But more than wanting all of those things, I want to hear Jesus.
The tax collectors and "sinners" wanted to hear Jesus more than the church goers. The outsiders wanted to hear what he was saying more than the insiders.
I'll let go of me being "right" and having all the answers. I'll let go of looking like I have it all together and I'll let go of anything else that's in my way---so I can hear Jesus.
"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." Luke 18:13