He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “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. (Luke 18:9–14 ESV)
When we are proud of our moral cleanness, disciplined efforts and good works, we show that we are at odds with the Gospel. Those who are proud of their ability to manage their behavior treat others with contempt. The Gospel beckons those who recognize their complete inadequacy and long to lean upon Another. As Christians, we should view ourselves as nothing more than beggars showing other beggars where to find bread.