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"This tax-collector went to his house justified rather than the Pharisee - for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled" (Luke 18:14).
Pharisees cannot be justified by God because they exalt themselves. God humbles all those who exalt themselves over others.
There are many subtle ways in which we can exalt ourselves over others. We can behave in ways that make others feel small and inferior to us. Gifted people and musicians are in great danger here. You must not play a musical instrument in a church meeting in a way that makes people admire you. You are there to help people to worship God and not to get them to worship you!!
Sometimes married couples speak about the joys of married life in the presence of single sisters who are older and not married. They are exalting their marriage relationship when they speak like that, without any consideration for the feelings of those single sisters. We must not hurt others by such testimonies. Pharisees are totally inconsiderate about the feelings of others. That is why they cannot be declared righteous (justified) by God, because God justifies only the humble.
There are many other ways in which we can exalt ourselves over others. We must ask the Holy Spirit to make us sensitive in this area.