Everyone is living out some system of belief. The question simply comes down to which one. Are you living out the belief system that this world and what it has to offer are the best or only prize? Or do your steps, which always speak better than words about what a person really believes, prove you think God will owe you for your good deeds? Or is your life a working out of your belief that you are a failure, a mistake, or a reject?
Is your fundamental faith in the worthiness of worldly pleasure, in merit, in your own inadequacies?
Or is it in the mercy of Jesus?
Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
The Christian has been given the gift of trusting God’s disposition of kindness towards Him. He can know he is owed nothing and will inherit everything. He humbly pleads only the mercy of God, and he expects it, but only on faith.
He believes that he is a sinner and that the God of Jesus Christ is merciful. And with those two weapons he is armed against pride and fear.
We are all treading out the path of some belief system. It’s just a matter of what it is.
One that ends in truth and life, or one that ends in deceit and despair.