Look at Instagram. We take many pictures of ourselves, pick the best one, augment it, and then post it. The picture does not show our real self, but when others praise the picture, we feel good. No wonder anxiety and depression are on the rise.
We like to cover up. When we make mistakes, instead of taking responsibility of our fault, we complain and blame others.
We think we are better. We are arrogant and condescending, looking down on others.
To go one step further, some are even sure of God’s approval.
Let us learn from Christ’s parable on the prayers of a Pharisee and a tax collector (Luke 18:9-14).
Pharisees were powerful religious leaders who represented the establishment. The tax collector, like today’s drug dealer or pimp, represented the outcast.
They both prayed.
The Pharisee thanked God he was better than others, including the tax collector. He told God he fasted twice a week and gave 10 percent of all he got.
Meanwhile, the tax collector mourned and would not even look up. He called himself a sinner and asked for God’s mercy.
The Pharisee considered himself good even before the eyes of God. In contrast, the tax collector knew he had nothing but dirt, and he confessed to God.
Only the tax collector’s prayer was pleasing to God.
We need to understand that we bring nothing to God. Everything is by His grace. We also should remember we are sinners. We should admit our mistakes and our weaknesses to God and confess to Him. It is through confessing and repenting that we invite God to come in to heal us.
In addition to confessing to God, confess to others, such as to our friends. Admit our mistakes and pray for each another (James 5:16). This is difficult but may draw others closer to us. More importantly, such confessing and praying help address the issue and make us less likely to make the mistake again.
Accept who we really are. Know that we are sinners. Confess our sins to God and to one another. Then pray for each other and ask for God’s mercy. God would help us.
Summarized from a sermon by Carey Nieuwhof:
让我们来看看Instagram。我们自拍许多照片，挑选最好的，进行修改，然后登上Instagram网页。虽然图片并没有显示出真实的我们， 但是当别人称赞那些图片时，我们都会感到自豪。 难怪焦虑和忧郁的情绪正在上升。
要知道我们没有带给上帝什么，一切都是祂的恩典。也应该记住我们是罪人, 向上帝承认错误和弱点, 坦诚认罪。正是通过认罪和悔改，我们邀请上帝进到自己生命中来医治我们。
另外，我们还应向其他人(例如我们的朋友)坦白，承认错误, 并为彼此祈祷 （雅各书5:16）。 这虽然是一件挺难的事情，但可能会让其他人更接近我们。更重要的是，这样的互相认罪和祷告，有助于我们解决问题，并减少再犯同样错误的可能性。