Grace For The Journey
We are all spiritual snobs by nature; it’s woven deep into our sinful DNA. We like to judge others on everything from lifestyle to looks . . . money to ministry . . . personality to profession. We spend far too much time searching for and speaking about what is wrong with others without ever acknowledging and addressing the problem with our own attitude and actions. It’s so easy to disregard our own “respectable” sins and shortcomings when we compare them to the “repulsive” sins of others. We find it easy to look down on other Christians who don’t appear to be doing as well as we are or demonstrate the kind of commitment we do.
- We look down on other Christians who are inconsistent in their church attendance.
- We look down on other Christians whom we watch out of the corner of our eye and see that they let the offering plate pass by without adding to it.
- We look down on other Christians who ask for personal prayer for things we aren’t currently struggling with.
- We look down on other Christians who don’t seem to have control over their children during the church service.
- We look down on other Christians who spend more time talking about the good life instead of the godly life.
- We look down on other Christians who watch movies we won’t watch and listen to music we don’t listen to.
- We look down on other Christians who rarely, if ever, find the time to show up for service projects.
- We look down on other Christians who don’t carry their Bible to every activity like we do . . . even though we have no intention of reading from it.
- We look down on other Christians who don’t believe everything we believe and belong to different denominations than we do.
The list, of course, is endless, and as we busily engage in looking down …
Our hearts harden …
Our faith falters …
And our love lessens.
Unfortunately, spiritual snobbery is something that affects us all – some of us more than others, but we are all affected.
C.S. Lewis rightly observed, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.” Funny thing about looking down on other Christians . . . it leaves us very little time to look up to Jesus! And therein lies the key to unlocking the prison door of spiritual snobbery: looking up to Jesus.
The author of Hebrews makes it clear in which direction our eyes should be focused.
We should always be “looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
The apostle Paul provides a wonderful admonishment for everyone who finds it easy to look down rather than up. “By the grace given to me,” he wrote, “I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one” (Romans 12:3).
You may remember the parable of Jesus about the two men went up to the Temple to pray in Luke 18 . . . we need to be more like the tax collector who looked up to God and asked for mercy than the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not like other men.
God wrote through Paul to the Corinthians, “By the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10).
We all must remember that . . .
If there is anything we are doing well . . .
It is only because God has given us the grace to do it.
It is not because we are bigger, better, brighter, or more spiritual than others.
This is why we need to keep on preaching and living by the Gospel.
We will overcome our default mode of spiritual snobbery only by keeping the Gospel before us. Preaching the Gospel and living by the Gospel will keep us grounded in the glorious truth about God (infinitely holy) and the dreary truth about ourselves (incredibly sinful). The more we understand these truths, the more we will look to our Savior for all that we need to give our lives meaning and significance, rather than looking to compare ourselves to our neighbor.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”