A Commentary on Christian Culture: Holier Than Thou
We excuse judgement to feel justified in our decisions
I can’t believe she said that – she’s so awful. I would never say something like that. It’s just not right. I’m going to put her down and raise myself up so that I appear more righteous than her. I’m clearly a better Christian anyway.
We fall victims to comparison daily. We see what everyone else is doing, wearing, and saying, and we rank ourselves with them. This can lead to low self-esteem. To make up for this, we put others down, viewing ourselves as better than them. This soothes the wound of feeling less than.
This becomes a way to justify sin. Sure, I lied about why I was late to class, but that’s better than what he was doing last night. My sins are less than his, therefore, they should be excused. We no longer feel that we should be held accountable for our actions, as they seem to be less harmful than others. We rank sin, and in turn, each other.
Matthew 7:3 (NIV) says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
We are quick to judge what others are doing, yet we refuse to acknowledge the brokenness in our own lives. In this, we are sinning against one another, and we are robbing ourselves of the rich forgiveness of our Father.
Matthew 7:2 (NIV) says, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
We judge one another when it is not our job, but God’s. Would we want God to judge us the way we judge others? Of course not. We cry out to Him for His mercy and grace, yet are unwilling to provide the same to our brothers and sisters.
This is easier said than done. Oftentimes, rude thoughts pop into our heads without warning. However, it’s what we do with them that matters. Do we share them with our friends? Do we use them to build resentment? Or do we use them as an opportunity to pray for the other person and for ourselves? We can ask God to soften our hearts and help us extend grace to others.
This can be a transformative process. How much more pleasant would life be if we didn’t hold judgment against one another? If we commit to working towards this, we can reflect Jesus in our daily lives instead of acting holier than thou.