In the world, when a person has dedicated a certain number of years to a field of study or work they become an authority.
When people make discoveries, and contribute to the body of knowledge they become a standard.
For example, Albert Einstein will always be a standard in physics.
This is because performance is the measure of success in the world.
However, the same cannot be said of Christianity.
Being more disciplined in your Christian walk does not make you better than the next person who seems to just be finding their feet.
Neither does making fewer mistakes than the next person gives you any right to judge them.
One of my biggest regrets has been pushing someone away in the name of preaching the Gospel.
Quite early on in my Christian walk, a friend of mine who had made some mistakes came to me for some advice and instead of drawing her in and comforting her. I took it as an opportunity to show off my “superior spirituality”
The sad part is when I was done. I was quite pleased with myself.
But I can tell you Jesus wasn’t very happy with me that day
“Why?” You might ask
I hadn’t represented him well as I would have liked to think. I judged and condemned my friend. And I pushed her away.
When I realised what I had done, I had to go back and apologise but it was never the same.
Judging and condemning unbelievers and even our fellow Christians is an easy trap to fall into.
Because we usually do it under the guise of trying to appear “Holy”.
I’ll tell you for a fact that it’s not holy in anyway, in fact it disobeys God’s commandment to love.
I love the way Paul put it,
In Gal 2:17, He says
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin.
Let me break it down further, if in trying to please God, we disobey His commandment to love everyone. Are we saying that God does not obey his own laws?
In 1 Thess 5:14, He actually instructs us to “… comfort the faint hearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all”
I know I’m not the only one that has struggled with this so I’m here to tell you how I have learnt to deal with it.
I learnt to redefine my standard. It was only when I was looking around to measure how far I had gone that I would fall into the trap of self-righteousness.
When we stop comparing ourselves to others but rather use the life of Jesus as our yardstick. We realise that we have a long way to go and stop wasting our time judging others.
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”
This verse just makes me sit down and eat humble pie.
It tells us that even “90% spirituality” isn’t enough to get puffed up. This is because Jesus is the standard (100%)
So just because I think I’m failing less than someone else, I don’t get the right to judge that person.
I’m reading currently reading, “The Discipline of Grace” by Jerry Bridges and it gives a beautiful illustration
If the pass mark for a test is 60% and I get 55% while someone else got 20%. It’s silly if I start bragging just because I did better than that person because we both failed.
This is why God gave us His son to die for us. So that, we can stand in the righteousness of Jesus
By the gift of salvation, all forms of self-righteousness fly out of the window!
Which is why Paul said,
“I am what I am by the grace of God!”
So, remember there is no point pulling others down because we are all standing in level ground; The Righteousness of Jesus.
Our Christian walk is not a competition against one another.
I’ll end with this scripture from Romans
Romans 14:4 “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”
We are all heading to the same goal, so let’s try to bring as many people as possible along.
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve been blessed.
Written By: Ayowade Adeleye (through the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit).