One of the things that I have to watch out for whenever I start to get closer to Jesus: self-righteousness.
Which is totally backwards because he was quite the opposite of self-righteous. He attributed everything to God. But, nonetheless, I start to think of myself as better than others.
And I am brought down a bit today as I remember that it was only like two months ago that I was buried. drowning. suffocating. in my own addiction and vice. An addiction that I wanted to be rid of, but couldn’t shake it off.
I have a friend that drinks quite a bit and smokes occasionally and I am horribly impatient with her addictions. Perhaps because her addictions affect me. Like, my overeating never really affected anyone. Maybe it disappointed my husband or embarrassed my parents, but…
Ya know… I’m gonna stop myself right there. I say that my overeating never affected anyone and then I list three people that I know were affected by it. See?!?!?! This is an example of what I’m talking about. I have this self-righteousness that isn’t even deserved!
I think I am going to enjoy God working on this part of my heart. I would love to be renewed in the way I view my fellow strugglers. And in typical God fashion… as soon as I made this realization about myself, the verses started appearing. This one in particular was part of my reading plan this past week and grabbed my attention:
For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7
And that’s the thing… I have no right to stand here (even if I am all by myself) and look down on anyone, but especially on someone that is struggling. Whether they know the are struggling or not. Whether they want to be struggling or not. Whether they know how to be free or not. My freedom was… a gift. A gift from God.
And so what should my mind do instead? Instead, I want to pray that God gives them that gift as well. I want… desperately want… for my dear friend to be free of that vice, that stronghold, that addiction. And so I pray that God may break the chains and gift my friend with that freedom. For, I know… I have learned… that there is no other way to freedom than through a gift from God.
But my judgment will not get her or any of my other friends closer to freedom. But perhaps my prayers… will get her closer.