“You are not holier than me”, he said.

So said my friend after I sort of teased him that he didn’t attend Church the Sunday preceding our conversation. I have forgotten how we found ourselves  on the topic of holiness but he must have said something in the vein of ” he doesn’t miss Sunday Services ” or ” he was in Church that Sunday” or something. And I countered that with something like ” You! You didn’t go to Church jo “.

Now before you think I am a weirdo, lol, we attend the same Church oh although different branches and I know he sometimes travels during weekends to see his wife. I guess I just assumed that he didn’t go to Church that Sunday. Don’t ask me why I assumed. My friend is a very laid back guy. And I was just teasing anyway, not that I knew for sure. I just assumed. And I assumed wrong.

He took it seriously though. And his next words were very surprising. “You are not Holier than me”. It was such a funny statement coming from him that I burst into laughter. And I think he laughed too. I then informed him that I was going to write a post on it. Lol.

But I also got an underlying seriousness to his statement and I took the time to reassure him that my intention wasn’t to sound smug or holy at all.

You see! He actually did go to Church that Sunday . He explained that he always tried to attend Sunday Services regardless of what State he was in. So that I didn’t see him in Church didn’t mean he wasn’t in another Church. And come to think of it going to Church doesn’t exactly guarantee Holiness. So even if he didn’t go to Church, it still didn’t affect his holy status. Lol.

His words got me thinking though on presumptions, and condescending and judgemental tones that some of us use consciously or unconsciously. One thing I have discovered when it comes to evangelizing or teaching is that you have to be careful not to sound judgemental . A person who feels judged isn’t going to listen to anything you say.

How much more souls would some of us win if we didn’t have prejudice in our hearts and mind?

One lesson God has been drumming into my ears is not to judge. I try not to judge on other religions, or doctrine. I may not agree with them but I try to maintain my poker face and treat them as fairly as I would treat a Christian sister or brother. It’s not always easy but anytime I want to discriminate against a Muslim I am reminded of the fact that my father is one, I grew up one, and have tons of Muslim relatives. This simply means that ” I am” by the grace of God. What if I never met Christ? This singular thought cautions me and helps me rein any prejudice I have.

I am reminded of the many times in the University that some girls have felt they were better than me because they went to Church and I didn’t bother, or they looked more pious than I did, and they judged me and gossiped about me. None of them had any inkling of the radical change my life would encounter in a few years after graduation. To be honest, I didn’t too.

Heres the thing- We have to watch out for the prejudice in our minds. Isn’t it ironical that churches with different doctrines judge each other when we are supposed to be one. White garment Churches are this, Deeper Life Church member dress like that, Catholic people do this, Synagogue is this, Mfm pray that way, The Lord’s chosen people act this way, COZA people do this and Redeemed is that.

Some of us may claim innocence but let’s be truthful. What comes to your mind when that wild looking girl who dresses half naked, smokes and drinks passes by you? Judgement or love and the need to pray for her? Do you shift unconsciously in your seat and warn your younger ones never to get close to her?

What crosses your mind when that staunch looking Mfm or Deeper life member passes by you. Do you ridicule their dressing , lack of makeup, natural hair and think ” Pretender”. Lol. 

Isn’t it just funny to you? Even in our own Churches we don’t always escape judgement. Human one that is. I attend a conservative Church  and you will be surprised that even in the Church people are also judging your hair, your clothes, length of your sleeves and gowns, church attendance, and you just wonder where it ends.

The question is how does this affect us? Who made us judges over Christians? I know that some of these prejudice are deeply ingrained. But it’s time we start to let them go. If we feel so deeply about someone being on the wrong path, how about praying for them instead of pursing our lips in a sanctimonious manner and mentally calculating who is going to heaven and who is going to hell?

Do you know that guy smoking and drinking can become a firebrand pastor when God arrests him? Do you know that promiscuous girl who slept with tons of men and aborted severally can become an evangelist and teacher with a heavy dose of God’s anointing to boot. God can change anybody.

God does not judge. So who are we to help him out with our thoughts or our attitude? Let’s take a cue from Jesus shall we. So many of us would have scared off the Samaritan woman at the well with our attitude once we discovered that she was had had five husbands.

That’s just my perspective anyway. What do you guys think? Let us know please.

 

Christian Life, Life
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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Oredex
    February 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Hmmm. Bisola what a funny conversation you had with ur friend. The truth is most people myself included don’t know when our words and actions come across to others as being sanctimonious.
    It is almost as if it’s innate. If it’s not done our way it must be imperfect. If people don’t go to church or dress like us they are sinners. U bi Chief Justice?… Lol
    Am greatly inspired and would do more to check and recheck before I say things that are judgmental. Keep it coming girl…

    • Reply
      Bisola
      February 11, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Lol. Don’t mind him. He says some funny stuff sometimes.
      You are right. It’s so easy to say we don’t act sanctimonious. But the truth is that our words, actions, thoughts can come across as holier than thou. Yeah! I agree. It’s kinda part of us. Some of it happens before we know it or unconsciously.
      Lol. You get it. I think sometimes, we subconsciously want everyone to look like us and we judge the people who look differently. We may never say it, but we are thinking it.
      Thank you sweetheart. Not just you, but me and hopefully everyone else who reads this.

  • Reply
    Dee
    February 12, 2017 at 6:53 am

    thank u so much sister Bisi. we all need that conscious effort not to be judgemental as it seems to be a trait attached to us Africans(I may be wrong). not just religious wise, even when people are doing the right things bt not in our own way.
    however, I think while at this, we need God’s wisdom so we wouldn’t seem to be compromising & then children/others seeing us as ‘examples’ won’t get it wrong&we wouldn’t be excusing d severity of sin.also, our firmness @ times yield good fruits.

    • Reply
      Bisola
      February 12, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      I agree completely.We all need to make that extra effort not to be judgemental. I think it’s just a human failing. We are flesh and blood and not perfect. Although as Africans we get our own for body. You are right about African judgement not limited to religion. We have opinions on everything. Lol.
      Yeah! That’s true. We can’t be seen to be excusing sin in order to appear liberal. At the same time, we have to convey our disapproval rightly and lovingly.
      Thanks Dee.

  • Reply
    E
    February 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Great article Bisi. It is important to bring these issues to the table. But you’ll agree with me that it’s very hard to not judge certain Christians like Jehovah’s witnesses who preach a very very distorted form of christianity or people like that youth pastor who got pregnant outside marriage and refused to step down from the altar. I’m not saying I’m holier or better than those people but men, it’s not easy to look at them in a good light. I’ll definitely practice not judging these people. While this is one extreme I don’t necessarily find myself on all the time, where I judge people or feel holier than others, I feel like the extreme where I’m on is also not a good one. I’m very in touch with my spirituality and try to abstain from sin as much as possible but I also try very much to be a good friend to the people in my life. Because of this,my girl friends are very comfortable telling me about their weekly sexual escapades with strange men and my gay friends also tell me a lot about their sexuality. While I like saying it is because I’m open minded and loving of all people, I also feel like as a Christian I shouldn’t be comfortable with allowing them tell me these things. What do have to say to that Bisi?

    • Reply
      Bisola
      February 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      My dearest E, Correct. It’s very hard not to judge some Christians and a lot of people and doctrines make it hard not to judge them. But how we convey this disapproval without an holier than thou attitude is what I am saying. Are we condemning because the Bible condemns whatever it is, or because we Feel we are righteous, better or more spiritual than they are? Are we acting as judge and jury and determining that this person is doomed for hell? Or we are concerned about the salvation of the person’s soul and we put it to God in prayer.

      There’s a thin line between disapproval and judgement and we just have to pray for the grace to walk that line appropriately. Your view is similar to the comment before yours, in that in trying not to be judgemental, we have to be careful not to also condone or be seen as condoning. The only thing I can say is that God will help us. If we find ourself having a judgemental thought, we can note it and pray about it.

      I agree. The extreme isn’t also good. We shouldn’t be seen to be lax or to condone immorality. They may think there’s no big deal in what they are doing if you share and revel in the gist. It’s important that they know where you stand and they see Christ in you. I may convey my disapproval through a glance, a look, words or excusing myself so that they think better of gisting me such stuff next time but I will certainly not condemn or censure. And when it’s time to talk, I choose my words carefully.

      • Reply
        E
        February 14, 2017 at 3:34 am

        Wow Bisi, hmmm your response is wonderful, just brilliant. Yes, there’s a difference between disapproval and judgement and I couldn’t really grasp that concept before till you explained it the way you did now. I also love the wisdom of your response to my question because I don’t want to come across as being rude /judgmental in my disapproval or being totally ok with the behavior. Your tactful suggestions on how to handle such situations will be a great way to deal with the situation. I’ll keep these things in mind and find ways to practice them so I can really be the kind of person Christ wants me to be for his glory.

        P.S I know God is using you through this work He has given you, but it is also nice to give praise and encourage the people doing good work. You’re really amazing Bisi. Don’t stop doing what you’re doing because in your own little way,you’re touching lives and that really is the best way to live life. Your blessings are just piling up and I know God is going to take you to places you never dreamed you would.

        • Reply
          Bisola
          February 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

          You flatter me. Lol. It’s not by my power, but the Holy Spirit’s but thank you anyway.
          I sent you an email.

  • Reply
    D'Dream
    February 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    being judgemental seems to be an inherent behaviour of us humans irrespective of religious, nationality or social affiliation

    I tends towards judging others badly in time past but lately God has been dealing with me almost extensively on that point. I am not there yet but I have improved ..

    • Reply
      Bisola
      February 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Yeah! I think it takes the grace of God not to judge. I used to do it too but asking how Jesus will react is a great yardstick.

      I don’t think God can use anyone who is judgemental. Some of the people he needs us to reach may be far from us if we don’t let go of that judgemental attitude. Peter had definite views of clean and unclean things, until he was sent specifically to the Gentiles. He had to unlearn what he learnt.

      So one thing I am learning is not to judge anybody as no be me create them. It’s not easy mind you, but I try.

  • Reply
    Precious
    February 16, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Thanks for this awesome reminder, Bisi!

    There is a statement often said in my present church that has literally changed my life. It says: “no perfect people allowed!”

    In this church, I have seen all sorts of ‘wordly-looking people’. Some tattoed, some pierced, some with coloured hair and tobacco-smelling breath. And I have judged them.

    With my background, I got worried at some point and wondered why I kept seeing lots of such people in church.

    That was when I felt like God ministered to me. Those are the people that need the church and it is important that we welcome the with open arms. Only those who are sick need a doctor.

    Jesus ate with sinners and he was judged for that. To be Christlike means to accept people in love regardless of how they look where they worship, or what we think they are doing wrong. Love is stronger than anything.

    “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.” Selah

  • Reply
    Bisola
    February 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Perfect statement. I love it.
    You understand perfectly what I was getting at. I have been both the judge and the judged, and I tell you neither part is fun.
    That’s very correct. They are the ones that need our encouragement, love, prayers and support.
    Thanks for that reminder about Jesus. He was judged for not judging. Waoh!.
    Thank you for this statement
    “To be Christlike means to accept people in love regardless of how they look where they worship, or what we think they are doing wrong.
    Love is stronger than anything “.

    Thanks Sis. This sums up this post in few words. Acceptance does not mean you approve or tolerate sin.

  • Reply
    FTJ
    March 3, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    It’s so easy to condemn and judge. How many of us would have judged Jesus for keeping certain company. I believe that when your heart is filled with love, which is the essence of our God, you just feel empathy/compassion and an urgent need to restore people. Then, judgement is not even a part of your reasoning. It is this level that I desire to get to. And I pray God takes us all there in Jesus name.

    • Reply
      Bisola
      March 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Hmmm! It is that level I desire to get to too oh. Where instead of finding faults, recriminations and a superior sneering moral standard I feel love, empathy and compassion. Where people see “worthless and sinful” in people, I see candidate of God’s salvation.
      Amen and Amen.
      Thank you dear.

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