Sometimes it’s not just that we do something—even a good thing—that matters. What matters more is why and how we do it.

Making the right decisions isn’t always easy. Sometimes it gets downright complicated.

And sometimes it’s a good idea to stop and consider what we are doing and why. Right now is just such a time.

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He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

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We all want people to think we are good, so we do the things we are supposed to do, and sometimes just for show. That is the difference in today’s story. One thinks he can do all that is necessary and brags about it. The other realizes he needs help to do good. No one can do good all the time and sometimes our good deeds are done with wrong intentions. The truth is we are all like the second person, but often like to act or think like the first. We all need reconciliation with God and others.

Take some time to be honest and think about your need for reconciliation with God and with others.
Think about hurtful things directed to you. What anger do you have because of these words?
Then, think about hurtful things you have directed toward others.

Andrew Kellner

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God, for those things that I need to forgive others for, grant me love; and for those things that I need forgiveness, grant me your mercy. Help me to be honest with myself and with others. Help me to turn to you for help. Amen.

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Go now knowing that God knows you inside and out.
Go knowing that God accepts you and is redeeming you.
Go knowing that God has given you all you need
To do and become all that God intends.

You are a work in progress
And your Creator is at work in you still.

Trust the Maker’s hand.

Andrew Kellner

Andrew Kellner serves as the Canon for Family and Young Adult Ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. In this role he oversees Youth Ministry, Campus Ministry, Servant Year (a program of the Episcopal Service Corps), The Episcopal Mission Center (an urban retreat center specializing in mission experiences), and City Camp (an urban day camping program). Andrew also serves on the board of Forma.

Blackberry Blossom / Trust and Obey

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