Summary: Humility Is a Choice. The Pharisee’s lack of humility and abundance of pride was his problem.


1. Do not point a finger to others.


- We are saved by God's atonement and mercy, not by our righteous deeds.

- Righteousness is NOT a human achievement instead of a gift of God’s grace.

Luke 18:9 (PHILLIPS) “Then He gave this illustration to certain people who were confident of their own goodness and looked down on others“

ILLUSTRATION: Pharissee in the parable

Luke 18:11 (GW) “The Pharisee stood up and prayed, ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people! I’m not a robber or a dishonest person. I haven’t committed adultery. I’m not even like this tax collector.”

• Notice, he did not pray to God or about God but prayed with himself.


- We must stop comparing ourselves to others.

- It is impossible to be humble while putting oneself above another.

- “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.” Rick Warren

- Developing humility is a process

2. Esteem others better than ourselves.


Luke 18:11 The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men–extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers–or even like this tax collector here.

- The prayer of the pharisee was similar to other prayers prayed each day by Jewish men. They included thanks for not being a Gentile and not being a woman.

ILLUSTRATION: Lord Jesus. Philippians 2:3-8

APPLICATION: Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Romans 12:3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

- Since our gifts are from God, we cannot take the credit for them. All we can do is accept them and use them to glorify His name.

3. Admit mistakes

EXPLANATION: Being humble starts with the acceptance that we are not always right.

Luke 18:13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’


- Ask God to help you realize your mistakes and be humble to admit them.

- If we really want to be changed, then we need to embrace humility.

- Always remind yourself that you are not save by your good works.

4. Routinely confess your sin to God

EXPLANATION: All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. Therefore we must have a routine practice of rigorous self-honesty examination.

- God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble

ILLUSTRATION: Tax collector in the parable

- The tax collector ask for forgiveness and mercy.


1 John 1:8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

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