The Pharisee was a person who didnt feel the need for God. On the other hand, we meet the tax collector who was in great need of God. He felt his sins where in needs of God’s forgiveness. The Pharisee used to pray many times a day, as many of us pray today, and he used to go the temple and be a part of its activities, similar to what many of us do nowadays. He was an authoritative figure in religion, but unfortunately, he did not feel he needed God.
Consequently, he did not welcome the work of God in his life, which meant he was left without justification, grace, spiritual life, or any closeness to God. Therefore, while he was in the centre of the religion, he was far away from a real spiritual life. The tax collector was a man who had conviction of his wrong doings. He realised that only God could forgive his sins and help him out of his sinful life.
His mental conviction was accompanied by a great sense of humbleness, sorrow for his sins, and feelings of unworthiness that were deep and genuine enough to make him raise his face towards God. As you can conclude from this story, a good conviction of the need to God is always accompanied by great feelings, emotions, zeal, and humbleness. Our Lord said that the Tax Collector went down to his house justified, which means he was touched by the grace of
God, rewarded the forgiveness of his sins, and was given a new life that put him in the right spiritual path. The same God Who “ whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life , He sends the Holy Spirit to lead people to salvation. The Holy Spirit works in different ways to get a person to the point of conviction. Servants of God work with God to get people to conviction. The Holy Spirit gives our own weak words power to work in the hearts and minds of others. He even uses our own life style to awaken others. His work in some people takes long years, as in the case of St. Augustine, or a shorter time, depending on the person. The rule to remember is that God never imposes Himself on people, rather, He leads them to inner conviction, a conviction that is not only in the mind but also deep in the heart. A person, who loves to serve God in any kind of service, needs to experience the conviction that leads to a dramatic life change.
From living for the self to living for Christ, From living according to the flesh to living according to the Spirit Moving from death to life, and from darkness to light The pleasure of the person is no longer in the world but in Christ From void life to a life of fullness in Christ away; behold, all things have become new
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed” (2 Corinthians 5:17)