Most cf us have heard the accusation hurled our way or at someone else. The accuser says, -you have a holier than thou attitude." Could this accusation ever apply to a member of the body of Christ?
The prophet Isaiah described Judah as a hypocritical and self-righteous people who were blind to their own sins. Isaiah, speaking as the mouthpiece of God, writes, "l have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, that walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens, and burning incense upon bricks; that sit among the graves, and lodge in the secret places; that eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; that say, Stand by thy self, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burns all the day/' (Isaiah 65:2-5). Judah had no problem seeing the sins of the Gentiles; however, when it came to their own error they were helplessly blind and self-righteous. The word of God explains to us that the only sin that God will not forgive a man of is the sin he will not recognize (see Mark 3:28-29; 1 John 5:16-17). Odd how brethren today find themselves in the same hardened state of mind as the people of Judah and have no idea that they are a "smoke in my nose, a fire that burns al/ the day."
What brother is there among us that will admit that they are the weak one of Romans 14? Where is the sister among us that weeps and wails for great sorrow over the error of their way (Matthew 5:3-4)? Why don't we see more brethren walking away from an event "smiting their breast saying, God be thou merciful to me a sinner?" (see Luke 18:9-14)? Where are the
contrite of heart who would come forward at the invitation (see Psalm 51 )? What we find mostly are brothers and sisters who seek to pluck specs out of other's eyes while a giant glaring obvious sin lies squarely on their own personal eyeball (see Matthew 7:1-5).
Have members of the church grown arrogant to the point of being blinded by their own sin? Jeremiah writes, "Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number... Yet thou said, I am innocent; surely his anger is turned away from me. Behold, I will enter into judgment with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned' (Jeremiah 2:32-35).
When speaking of sin, worldliness, and false teachers brethren are quick to point out the error of the world and their fellow brethren yet fail to see their own error. It seems that the hardest sin to actually identify on this earth is my own sin. The hardest false doctrine for a man to acknowledge is the faulty doctrine of his own personal convictions and opinions that he elevates to the level of divine revelation. Those who elevate their personal opinions and convictions to the level of divine revelation have usurped the authority of God and have, in a moment of futility, attempted to shove the Lord God Almighty off of his throne. Such a man stands condemned (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
Brethren, we need a good dose of humility. While exposing other's sins is the greatest show of love and a commandment of God don't you think that we ought to begin with ourselves? The apostle Paul wrote,
"Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his glorying in regard of himself alone, and not of his neighbor" (Galatians 6:1-4).
There is a fine balance between duty and responsibility when sin is involved in men's lives. There is a possibility that we find ourselves so bent on straightening everyone else out that we lose sight of our own faults. If this were not the case we would not have warnings in the scripture regarding this. If you find yourself talking with others or posting on the web statements about everyone else's ignorance and your self-perceived intelligence there is a high probability that you have a "holier than thou" attitude. You are likely arrogant and so filled with
pride that you cannot see the real you. Read Matthew 5:3-5 a few times and it may be that you will be healed of this heart disease.
John C Robertson