I think you may have missed the point of the story, Ron.
According to the Bible, we don't have what it takes to make ourselves righteous in the eyes of God. The Law requires perfection, and none of us can claim that. We've all blown it, and will continue to blow it in one way or another. We can't receive God's righteousness, the only kind acceptable to God, which he bought for us with the blood of His Son, and which is freely given through faith in the finished work of Christ, when we are busy trying to establish a righteousness of our own, thinking that will be acceptable to Him.
The first man thought he was fulfilling the law, and thought he was acceptable in the eyes of God based on his performance, didn't think he needed anything from God, and was therefore proud. The second guy knew he couldn't perform the requirements of the Law, and was therefore humble, and threw himself on the mercy and grace of God.
Self-righteous acts don't gain us any brownie-points with God. And remember the Bible says if we've broken even one command, we've broken all of them. Even if we haven't murdered someone, have we lied, cheated, stolen, gossiped, harbored bitterness or resentment? Jesus even said that we are guilty of murder, under the Law, if we harbor hatred in our hearts. So self effort under the Law is not the way to have a right standing before God.
As Paul said in the third chapter of Galatians:
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
And that ends our Bible study for today.