(This picture has nothing to do with anything except that it’s gorgeous. I also can’t take credit for that because all I did was plunk it in dirt and water it. It grew this way all on it’s own. Do you think it knows it’s beauty?)
If there’s one thing that bothers me about being a Christian it’s the delusion that people seem to have when they hear it. I’ve heard it repeatedly. I’ve had it spoken to my face and I’ve read it in articles and I’ve heard it spoken of other people when I was in a group that didn’t necessarily know I was one. I’m sure you’ve all heard it too. It’s almost a tagline for christians.
They think they’re so much holier than everyone else.
I would just like to set the personal record straight on this one. First of all, I get it. These words get spoken for a reason. Surely you’ve met someone who is arrogant. Likely you’ve had a conversation with a person and came away from it thinking that person felt very superior for what they believe. Chances are you know someone right now who just straight up bugs you and its easy to pin it on their christian-ness.
To this I say, fair enough.
However, you’ve probably also met the person who likes to talk about what they learned at bible study this week. Or perhaps the one who is always praying with their children before bedtime and face booking about what a special time it is for them. Maybe you’ve encountered the ones who have a bible on every coffee table in their house and chalk boards with verses in their bathroom. (guilty as charged!)
But here’s the thing, those people aren’t showing off. They aren’t being braggy. They’re being excited! You know how if you’re a shopper and you score a great deal on the perfect something or other you tell the whole world? Or if you’re a cat person and you get the cutest new little kitten and instagram the heck out of every single thing it does? Or if you’re super into music and you hear this new band and you want everyone to get in on the action before their too famous and they only play stadiums?
Yeah. We call that excitement, right? Passion. A love for something and a desire to share that love with the people around you.
When’s the last time you saw an amazing movie and didn’t tell anyone about it? Y’know?
So for some of us, bible studies just happen to be invigorating and praying with our children just the best thing in the world and we really really love Jesus and all of the ways he healed the sick and cared for the poor. We love learning more about him and we love talking about him and we love writing blogs about the way we’re learning each day to see him in the world around us, in the faces and stories of the people he’s made, in the very order of the universe.
And you know what? We’re pretty pumped about it.
We certainly don’t mean to be annoying and we most definitely don’t think of ourselves as holier. Nuh uh. I would have to say, those are your words, not ours.
Here’s why. This morning as I was reading my bible (don’t hate, you have the wall street journal or huff post, I have this) I read these words that were spoken from the mouth of Jesus,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Doesn’t that clear up so much? I mean, if I’m a follower of Christ then certainly by this very word, I’m sick. Because I assure you I’m in need of him, the great physician. And if he called me then it says right there as plain as day that I’m not righteous, but a sinner.
Doesn’t sound like I have room to think I’m holier. Because I’m not.
I am a sinner in every facet of the word. I break commandments daily. I get impatient and angry all the time. I get jealous and I covet what others have. I prioritize things that mean little and forget about things that mean a lot. I probably like money too much because it can buy me new boots and expensive skin cream. I forget to rest, I certainly didn’t always honour my parents when I lived under their rules, and while I haven’t killed anyone, the new testament says that if I’m angry with a brother or sister it’s pretty much the same deal. And yes, I’ve done that.
So, I can’t actually say what’s given us this ‘holier than thou’ reputation because it’s certainly nothing I can preach. What I know is that I’m pretty much a mess every single day and because of that I need forgiveness every single day. I know that I need a physician because I’m sick.
Being a christian isn’t me stating I’m better, in fact it’s admitting I’m worse.