Lord Have Mercy!

Wilbur Washington

READ : Luke 18:1-14


Among virtues of the Christian life that are unpopular, humility is near the top of the list. Not thinking more highly of oneself than one ought flies in the face of the reigning culture which teaches that we must compare ourselves with others.

Many teachings on self-worth depend on looking at others. “I am as good as . . . I am better than . . . I am a pretty good dad when you compare me with . . . “ and so it goes. This false image-building goes on in one’s religious life also.

Humble people, on the other hand, know themselves. They need not apologize for their strengths nor cover up their weaknesses. Their understanding of life leads them to confess their shortcoming as sin and give God the glory for their accomplishments.

The lowly slaves had their own pecking order down in the slave quarters. One claimed to be better than or not as bad as another. Arrogance and “false pride” were very much a part of their lives also.

But sometimes they sang:

It’s me, it’s me, O Lord

Standing in the need of prayer

not the deacon, nor the preacher

Not my mother, nor my father-

but it’s me, O Lord. Standing in the need of Prayer.


Lord, I join the publican who prayed, “Lord, have mercy on me, the sinner.” Amen.