Let’s be honest. It’s so easy to look at a neighbor who’s doing things all wrong and think “I’m glad I’m not him!” Yes, it’s human nature to be glad you’re not anybody else besides you. We tend to think we do things better than most people. We think we parent better, love better, spoil our children less, are smarter and less superficial, and the list goes on and on.
Add to this a neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus and it raises the notch of our superiority a bit. When we try to live righteously and avoid sin it’s only normal to be thankful not to be in a big mess like a neighbor’s whose life is now falling apart, because of a selfish choice. We followed the rules and life’s not complicated.
However, we have to be careful. When we are so busy looking at what somebody else is doing wrong and we compare ourselves to him, we fail to properly examine ourselves. God will not judge us in comparison to others. He is going to judge our righteousness in comparison to His and we will fall very very short.
You see, the only person that has the right to look at a wretched sinner and think “I’m glad I’m not he” is Jesus Christ. But did He do that? No, instead He got his hands dirty by getting up close and personal to the worst of sinners and loving them where they were.
The idea is not to avoid contaminating ourselves by association, but to demonstrate love. When we see a fallen brother the proper reaction should be, “There but for the grace of God go I.” (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:10)
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