(Luk. 18:9-14) “9 And he spoke this parable to certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.”
In the spiritual meaning of this proverb the pharisee and the publican are the same human. They are different aspects of our relation to God and to sin.
Everything, even sin, has positive aspects. A positive aspect of sin is that it makes people different. I think sinless angels follow the same standard but sinners don’t follow any standard. We will remain different than other people even after we will be completely saved.
So I thank God that I am different than other people. Many preachers teach that it is great to be unlike other people and we should thank God for this.
But we are more justified when we just remember that our sins require God’s mercy.
This is about us who trust in our mind that we are righteous in Christ.