Prayer removes judgment, reveals compassion

Have you ever felt judgmental of others? Whether you’re criticizing someone mentally or audibly, it can feel like a burden. But we don’t have to weigh down our relationships with this type of thinking and behavior. 

Jesus’ parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector who are praying in the Temple (see Luke 18:9–14) has been helpful to my study and practice of Christian Science because it reminds me not to judge others. This was the self-righteous prayer of the Pharisee: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”

The story continues: “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.’ ” Jesus concludes the parable: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (New International Version).

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