So you say you have a passion for Christ. You say you are Holy Spirit led and God has chosen you to go out and spread the Gospel. You call yourself an ambassador for Christ and you claim you speak with a spiritual boldness.
But the reality is you come across as a self-righteous Christian, who instead of leading people to Christ, you turn them away with your condemnation of their sins. Instead of seeing and hearing the God in you all they see and hear is YOU.
How quickly we forget that we were once in their shoes. Some of us forget that it is by grace that we are saved. It is God who saved us. We didn’t save ourselves. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”
But some of us are starting to act like the Pharisees. We have started boasting about our good works and we look down up on upon other believers whose faith is weaker than ours.
We condemn them when they sin and tear them down instead speaking the truth to them in love. Paul tells us in Romans 14:1, “Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.”
Read this parable Jesus tells about a Pharisee and Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14:
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner. I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Many of us act just like the Pharisee. Instead of humbling ourselves before the Lord, we boast about our righteousness, our good acts and deeds that we claim we have done for the Lord. We condemn others and act like we have never sinned a day in our life. The raw truth is that all of fall short of the glory. And many of us daily.
When we exalt ourselves God is displeased. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The tax collector humbled himself before the Lord and the Word tells us he “returned home justified before the Lord."
Our salvation is a free gift from God. Jesus paid the price for it when he died on the cross for our sins. So many of us need to get off our high horse and quit acting like our good deeds and good works makes us better than the next person.
We can’t reach a nonbeliever by acting self-righteous and commending them of everything they do. We have to preach, teach, and speak in love. Remember Jesus loves the sinner, but hates the sin.
Today I encourage you to humble yourselves and stop acting like you are better than a nonbeliever because you found Jesus and got saved. You can’t be an ambassador for Christ without having the heart, mind, and language of Christ. And his language is always spoken in love and in truth.
Today’s Scripture: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8-9