You can find anything on the internet. Recently, someone posted guidelines on using a role-playing game to enhance a resume. They talked about meeting for creativity and conflict resolution exercises, enhancing character development, and learning to use the proper tools to resolve situations. While it’s possible to make that point, most managers would feel that you had lied on a resume if you used something like that. Interestingly enough, according to a 2010 survey, 69 percent of hiring managers caught people lying on their resume. People want to look good before others, but their lies catch up to them. There are too many stories of people who got hired, then fired when this resume padding was caught.
I think we like to pad our resume before God. We put our best foot forward, often to make sure that God knows how “good” we are before we ask for something in prayer. Jesus tells a story of a “righteous man” who goes before God at the same time a “sinner” does. The “righteous man” man looked at the sinner, a tax collector at that, and sneers at him and other sinners while letting God know just how good he is. The tax collector can’t even try to look up to God and asks God for His mercy. Society would applaud the “righteous man.” Jesus applauded the tax collector. “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.” (Luke 18:14)
We like to pad our resume before God. We come before Him and even though we confess our sins, somewhere in the backs of our minds we are thinking that we aren’t so bad. We try to counter balance our sins with our good deeds. “Lord I sinned by …., but look at this other good thing I did.” And we think we aren’t so bad. Or we try to compare ourselves against the worst of humanity so that God knows that on a scale of 1-100, we’re up there in the 90’s somewhere. We get an “A” so God should be really blessed that we are following Him. Oh, come on, admit it. Haven’t you thought to yourself at one time or another that God was lucky to have you as a follower? Perhaps you did something really good and you wondered what God would do without you? That’s such an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it?
What that Pharisee, that righteous person forgot, or perhaps never knew, was that before God, all are equal. As followers of Christ, we remind people that the ground at the foot of the cross is level. We all come to God not on the basis of our goodness, but on the basis of our brokenness. Imagine what heaven would be like if you could get there either by your good works or by the grace of God. We would soon congregate in two groups so we could be around people we feel comfortable with. All the “good” people would be in one group. The rest of you would be with me – in the sinner group. They would spend their time in heaven congratulating themselves on their accomplishments. We would continue to rejoice in the grace and mercy of God that allowed us the privilege of being in God’s presence. There is no room for pride for the follower of Christ. We cannot take any credit for our actions before God. He can see through the resume padding. Like the tax collector all we can say is “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I ask for Your grace and forgiveness as I go through this life, for I know that I fail in so many ways. Let me be an example of Your grace and goodness and not my own.