I am reminded of Jesus’ words when He prayed, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes Father, for such was your gracious will”.
Religious pride was something Jesus observed quite often. It was seen in displays of arrogance and superiority of knowledge amongst the Pharisees.
There was strong confidence in their learning, in their own righteousness and personal interpretation of what they had learned. In fact they looked down on everybody else, who didn't think and act as they did.
Is it possible to, on the one hand, speak and write about humble Christ glorifying living, write Biblical messages and blogs which give advice about the self effacing, others focused manner of true disciples of Christ, and, on the other hand, display in one’s writing, the very same Pharisaical pride with which Jesus was confronted?
I have found myself having strong sensibilities on behalf of other brethren when comments on blogs are made, or, advice given, which, to my mind, comes across as proud and thoughtlessly patronizing.
It seems to me that the same proud spirit which has accompanied much traditionalism, is now accompanying some of those who, a few years ago, started off so well in challenging that which was clearly not according to Scripture, and have now come to a new tradition which they have developed and with which they are now comfortable.
If it’s not the same spirit as the Pharisees exhibited, maybe it’s the very similar carnal game of one-upmanship? A clash of egos?
William Barclay tells a story with a strong message regarding this matter of which I speak, "Once I made a journey by train to England. As we passed through the Yorkshire moors I saw a little whitewashed cottage and it seemed to me to shine with almost radiant whiteness. Some days later I made the journey back to Scotland. The snow had fallen and was lying deep all around. We came again to the little white cottage, but this time its whiteness seemed drab and soiled and almost gray in comparison with the virgin whiteness of the driven snow."
And then Barclay observes: "It all depends what we compare ourselves with."
It seems that it is an unconscious (?) ability that we have, of comparing ourselves, what we preach, write, or believe, with what others preach write or believe.
There is only One against whom we ought compare ourselves:
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.