Today we have the parable of the prayer of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector from Luke 18:9-14. We tend to focus our attention on the fact that the tax collectors prayer is more humble. Parables are supposed to make us think twice though. So we need to look at the parable a little more closely. We have heard it so often we have become familiar with it and we expect a certain outcome.
Maybe what we should be looking at is focus. Each person prays their prayer but the Pharisee's focus is on how good he is and presenting this fact to everyone who might be watching. A kind of boasting of his placement in the world because of his own righteousness. His good position relies solely on his own perception of himself and his self righteousness.
The tax collector has a different focus. His focus on his own unworthiness to come before God. He tears his clothes and states that he is unworthy to pray or approach God. His focus is on God and not his own goodness. There are many people in the world who do not see that they are worthy to be seen by God. What will our focus be?