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Holier Than Thou

August 30, 2018


Holier Than Thou

Down through the ages,  as God’s children share the word  of God,  they have often been accused  of having a  “holier than thou”  attitude.     In most cases,  it is the farthest thing  from the truth,  but it takes place  because the accuser wants  to intimidate  and shut down anyone  who speaks the truths  of the LORD.

Nevertheless,  there really are people  with a  “holier than thou”  attitude  and Jesus strongly  reprimanded them  for their hypocritical ways.     In Matthew 23  we read a long list  of Jesus’  righteous and truthful criticisms  of the scribes and Pharisees.     One example is  in Matthew 23:27,

Woe to you,  scribes and Pharisees,  hypocrites!     For  you are like whitewashed tombs  which on the outside  appear beautiful,  but inside  they are full  of dead men’s bones  and all uncleanness.

That is a scathing truth  regarding the religious leaders  in that day,  but there are many times  throughout history  when such hypocrites  have held positions of leadership  in the church  and the congregation really has been downtrodden.     The Third Epistle of John,  verses 9-11 tells us  of such a situation  in the early church.     There John says,

I wrote something  to the church;  but Diotrephes,  who loves to be first among them,  does not accept  what we say.     For this reason,  if I come,  I will call attention  to his deeds  which he does,  unjustly accusing us  with wicked words;  and not satisfied with this,  neither does he himself receive the brethren,  and he forbids those  who desire to do so,  and puts them  out of the church.

Beloved,  do not imitate  what is evil,  but what is good.     The one who does good  is of God;  the one who does evil  has not seen God.

Here is John,  the beloved disciple  of Jesus Christ himself,  being rejected  by a Grecian convert,  whose behavior as a supposed church leader,  was very unchristian — even towards the original apostles.

The Bible speaks  of many religious leaders,  truly sent by God,  who are wrongfully accused  of having a  “holier than thou”  attitude — even though they are actually  very humble people,  simply obeying God’s command  to speak His word.     Moses was a humble person,  who actually didn’t want  to be a leader.     In Exodus 3:11,  Moses pleads  with God,

Who am I,  that I should go to Pharaoh,  and that I  should bring the sons of Israel  out of Egypt?

After God promised  to be with him  and help him,  Moses still did not feel adequate  for the job,  and said  to the LORD  in Exodus 4:10,

Please,  Lord,  I have never been eloquent,  neither recently  nor in time past,  nor since Thou hast spoken  to Thy servant;  for I am slow of speech  and slow of tongue.

God did have Aaron,  Moses’ brother,  help him,  but Moses remained humble.     In spite of his humbleness,  the people of Israel  often opposed Moses’ leadership  and threatened his life.     When the Israelites demanded water,  Moses had to entreat God  in Exodus 17:4,

What shall I do  to this people?     A little more  and they will stone me.

Such were the lives  of God’s true prophets.     Many were killed,  tortured,  beaten,  and imprisoned.     The people simply did not like hearing  that they needed  to repent.    When the prophet Elijah had to run away  from Jezebel  as she sought to kill him,  he felt he could not take the pressure  any more.     In 1 Kings 19:4,  Elijah pleads,

It is enough;  now,  O LORD,  take my life,  for I am not better  than my fathers.

Elijah and all of God’s other prophets  were all humble people,  who believed  in God  and wanted to live  in obedience  to the true  LORD of lords.     Nevertheless,  they were always being accused  of being “holier than thou”  because the people did not want  to obey the LORD  or show any sort  of respect  for the truths  of God’s ways.     All these prophets actually had the same attitude  as Paul,  when he wrote  in 1 Timothy 1:15,

Christ Jesus  came into the world  to save sinners,  among whom  I am foremost of all.

Those who tend  to accuse others  of having a  “holier than thou”  attitude  need to examine their own hearts  and check their own motives.          Are we working  for God  or against?     When  someone speaks God’s word rightly,  does that truth cut so deeply  that we have a sudden dislike  for the speaker?

That would be a similar circumstance  that could be compared  to what happened  on Pentecost,  when the disciples  were filled  with the Holy Spirit  and began preaching  in many different languages.     Some of the audience mocked them  and jeered,  claiming they were drunk.     But,  others listened  and in Acts 2:37-39  we read,

Now when they heard this,  they were pierced  to the heart,  and said to Peter  and  the rest of the apostles,  “Brethren,  what shall we do?”

And Peter said to them,  “Repent,  and let each of you  be baptized  in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness  of your sins;  and you shall receive  the gift  of the Holy Spirit.     For the promise  is to you and your children,  and for all  who are far off,  as many as the Lord our God shall call  to Himself.”

When God’s word shows us  our sins,  that is a good thing  for us.     It is God leading us  in His truths,  so that we may be saved  eternally.     In other words — it is God’s love  reaching out  to us.     It truly is a blessed thing  to have the LORD  faithfully loving us,  even though we are sinners.     Let us graciously accept  God’s love  in Jesus Christ,  and let it lead our lives — and yet,  be aware  of those who only want  to be leaders,  but are twisting  and distorting  the truths  of the LORD.

Realizing the salvation God gives us,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My Lord,  Your love is so faithful.     Thank You  for caring for me, even when I am straying.     Always draw me back  to You.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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