I was recently talking with a friend over coffee at our favorite meeting place. It had been a while since we met and so we had quite a bit of catching up to do. Eventually, our discussion turned to the topic of self-righteousness and its place in our hearts.
Unfortunately, Christians sometimes tend to display a morally self-righteous attitude. The idea is that if you do something I don’t do, then I am better than you. Even among our sisters in Christ we can sometimes get on our high horse and look down our noses with disdain at others who (fill in the blank), or those who look or dress a certain way. In a really sick way it makes us feel superior to them even if it is only for a moment. Sadly, that is a real problem among us ladies and it has to stop.
I am aware of people who are literally afraid to confess their sin because of being judged by fellow Christians! Such a spirit of contempt has gripped the hearts of many that their mere opinion is enough to hold another in bondage to fear and to the sin that has entangled them. This should not be.
You who judge, have you not read Luke 18?
And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14 (NASB)
When will we remember that being judgmental is prideful? How easy we can ignore the warning of 1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6! We foolishly believe that God is somehow going to look past our pride with some sort of escape clause… If you are prideful, God stands opposed to you. Opposed! The God who is “for me” (Romans 8:31) will stand in opposition to me in my pride.
Do you not remember that you are only one mere thought away from committing the most heinous sin? Never say you would never do such a thing, for it opens up the gates of temptation wide and makes a way for the enemy of your soul to have his way with you – because of your prideful heart.
Love your sister in Christ enough to bear her burdens, be her counselor, be her friend. Consider your own pathetic state before God for you are a beggar and without Christ, you are a wretch. Humble yourself, cast self-righteousness away from you, and He will lift you up.