Holier Than Jesus?

Some people try so hard to please God that they want to be even more perfect than He is. Usually, I point fingers at those “some people” as others. Today, I point the finger right back to me.

Last night’s sermon was convicting in more than one way. You know those questions that a pastor will often ask? Well, I was nodding my head at quite a few of them…

I have a confession. I’m a hypocrite. A pharisee. I am self-righteous beyond belief.

You’d never know it by looking at me or just knowing me or even reading what I write. But isn’t that exactly what a hypocrite is? Someone who says one thing and does another.

And that is exactly who I am, sadly. I profess to be great at forgiveness because of what God has taught me, yet I’ve been finding unhealed wounds that I’ve bitterly left for years. My general motto is that God loves everyone, but recently I learned that I’m sometimes apt to think He loves me more than some. I write these posts about modesty being a non-issue and how there is grace in God. But whenever I see a girl in really trashy clothes, I look down on her and pride myself in my “more than modest apparel.” So much for being forgiving, loving, and modest, right?

Truly, Jesus was all of those traits that I’m not. He forgave the whole world. He loves the whole world. And he never once bragged about either of those amazing attitudes.

And as my pastor reminded me last night, Jesus ate with those very people we look down on. Maybe I don’t know any tax collectors or prostitutes, but I know lots of sinners. I know people who have fallen from Grace. And somehow I think I’m holy enough because I’ve been a Christian for longer, I wear crew neck shirts, and I go to church twice a week. But when I do it that way, I’m just trying to be holier than Jesus, an impossible feat.

Because Jesus didn’t come to condemn, but to save. He didn’t come to love some, but to love everyone. He didn’t come for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. And if I really want to have the attitude of Jesus, I need to lose my hypocrisy and really, truly live like He did. Prostitutes and tax collectors at dinner and all.

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6 thoughts on “Holier Than Jesus?

  1. Great thoughts here, Liz! I, too, am a hypocrite. I’m a sinner. But oddly…well, I’m not “proud” of it, that’s not the right word. But to me, being a sinner validates Jesus. It makes me feel even more connected to God’s love because Jesus, like you’ve pointed out, hung out with the bad crowd! The tax collectors and prostitutes were his buddies. The ones he entrusted with keeping his Church alive!

    Sin is part of a cycle. I’m not saying that we should happily sin because, hey, sin has a bad rep for a reason: it leads to trouble. Lying leads to hurt and getting caught and it just doesn’t work out. But for that same reason, we’re redeemed by Jesus, and that is a beautiful thing.

    Besides, tax collectors and prostitutes probably make for good conversational company over dinner. (;

    • Thanks, Kate! 🙂

      I love what you said. It is soooo true! If we were perfect then we wouldn’t need Jesus. My sermon today actually tied in with that. Our pastor told us to go to Jesus “naked and baring our sins.” He talked about shame and how there is nothing we need to hide from God… even our self-righteousness. Okay, I added that last part because that is my biggest sin at the moment. But still, I was pretty happy with two amazing sermons in one weekend. 😉

      And yes, redemption is beautiful! Gotta love it! I use it everyday. 🙂

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