"I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Luke 18:14 NLT
The Pharisee was smug in the careful execution of his religious practices. He erroneously thought that God would be pleased or maybe even impressed with him for his religious actions. Jesus cautioned that this man was not justified before God. Rather, the sinner, who didn't even dare to look towards heaven as he prayed and begged God for mercy, was the one who was justified.
Beware of becoming religiously smug as I grow more like Jesus. While there may be commonality in same outward actions with those who are religious, remember my position and state in humility before God. Thank Him for all He is doing in and through me, but don't start to think I deserve right standing before God on any basis of merit.
Lord, You are so good to me. Thank you so much for growing me and working in my life. I humbly come before You and acknowledge that I am unworthy of Your salvation and favor. Thank you so much for Your lavish grace and mercy that You continually pour out on me. I love you and am so grateful!