What about the tendency of men to be self-righteous? How one can live a distinctively Christian life without falling into the trap of frowning on those who are not living a Christian life?
I think it is important to first realize that all men, not just Christians, have this weakness, the desire to see themselves as better than others. What else explains why the upper class frowns on the lower class, white men frown on black men, the educated frown on the uneducated, why pretty girls are cruel to unattractive girls? Admit it; we all have the desire to set ourselves apart in a way that makes us feel superior to certain others. The self-righteous Christian is just another manifestation of that human weakness; self-righteousness is not a fundamental flaw with Christianity itself.
A friend and I were discussing this topic recently. He too has seen some Christians turn away from other Christians who had become known to have committed “bigger” sins. He reminded me of a Biblical principle I had once heard Meagan discuss, and that is that all sins are equal in God’s eyes.
I occurred to me then that perhaps one way to live distinctively Christian is to live without scorn for others, for there is no sin they could have committed in the past or might commit in their future that is worse that the sins I have already committed and haven’t yet committed.
Notice I said “haven’t yet committed.” I know where I am weak. God hasn’t cured my weaknesses nor reduced how tempted I am by certain sins. But He has told me how to handle myself when confronted by my weaknesses.
I am a sinner and I will sin again, but not nearly as often as I once did and when I do it will be followed by shame and prayer, not celebration and anticipation of doing it again.
Psalm 25:7 says: “Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.”
In a nutshell that means, I think, it is not our sins but what we do about the sins we’ve committed that endears us or separates us from God. I’ve chosen to fall on my knees.
And I’ve chosen to remember that one of the biggest sins I could commit is to opine that others are more sinful than me. I shall not, or I will surely loose my place in the Kingdom. That I cannot do.