(Full disclosure: I (the author) am guilty of and struggle daily with all of the below.)
If we counted on a given day of how often we say something, either to ourselves or out loud, like, “I would never do, think, say, eat, drink, etc. that! It’s so irresponsible, rude, lazy, mean, stupid (insert your own adjective here)”, the number might surprise us. Though it’s difficult to hang too many statements on an absolute, like “always” or “never”, there might still be some truth to such proclamations; the question is, what our motivation for making them is. Often times, particularly with Christians though certainly not exclusively so, we are putting ourselves in the position of judge over someone else with the goal of elevating ourselves and tearing down the other party. It feels good to be right, to live right, to eat right, to be married right, to parent right, but who are we really serving by saying or thinking such things?
Throughout the Bible, we are commanded to put God first, anything else is idolatry, the worst and most common form of idolatry is self-worship. Further, God loves us with perfect, self-sacrificing love; He puts us first – we are to emulate His love in the world by putting others ahead of ourselves both in our thoughts and our deeds.
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