I met with a couple of people yesterday and our conversation meandered into the discussion of spiritual snobbery. It was easy for the three of us, who were pretty like minded, to see how some people, even some churches, get wrapped up in religious legalism and the perceived DOs and DON'Ts. They then have a sense of superiority of who they are over those who don't measure up to their expectations, or what they feel like God expects of each one of us.
I thought about our discussion the rest of the day. I could instantly think of people that I could and would put into this category. I thought about those people and tried to figure out why they viewed their religion and life in the manner that they did. I am so far from the DOs and DON'Ts and the righteous judgment of others when it comes to being a Christian.
Or am I? I realized, as I was having this conversation in my head, I was judging. I realized, if I was honest with myself, I had to put myself in that same group of spiritual snobs. I try really hard not to judge, but it was obvious that I was doing a little of that at this moment. At this point, my thoughts changed tracks a little. What does God expect from me when it comes to my spirituality and sharing my faith with others?
I honestly don't feel like I come on too strong and make people feel judged when it comes their faith, but I had to wonder if I wasn't coming on strong enough. Maybe God wants me to speak up more, get more in people's faces, preach the Biblical truths every moment of every day, and make sure my friends and acquaintances all know that the end may be coming soon and heaven and hell are real places.
The more I thought about this, the more I realized I do all these things, but in a way that is appropriate for my personality. I realized that my spirituality is between me and God, and I need to remember that about others. I have certain opinions, but so do others. I can be turned off by how some people choose to show their faith, but maybe that's more of my issue than theirs.
It's when we - yes, you and me - feel a need to judge other's levels of spirituality or how they live out their faith that we become spiritual snobs. Let us not judge others for what should be strictly between them and God. Help them appropriately, yes, but judge, no.