Too often as Christians we have a tendency to feel a strange sense of pride when we hear that a fellow Christian has fallen into sin. We share prayer requests for Christians who are caught up in disobedience, and we shake our heads with concern, inwardly judging that we are doing better than that fallen one, that we may not be perfect, but at least we aren’t where he is. We grow pride-puffed with even the slightest indication that we are more righteous than another. But, there could be no feeling in the world more in tune with the devil himself than pride, especially in the face of another’s sin problem.
Instead of feeling proud of ourselves when we hear about a sin issue in another, we should be filled with fear and conviction, knowing that in our next breath it could just as easily be us. Our immediate reaction should be humility and trembling, remembering that we, too, are vulnerable to any manner of temptation. In fact, the second we decide we have become elevated beyond any sin, we have invited pride into our hearts, making our own goodness an idol to be toppled.
Sin should always a be a source of grief, whether we are observing it in ourselves or in someone else. Pride has no place here. We are but sinners saved by the grace of a holy, majestic God, and when we begin to feel proud of ourselves, when we begin to take credit and pat ourselves on the back, looking down on those sinners who aren’t as far along on the path to perfection as we are, we had better brace ourselves for a fall of epic proportions. Realistically, when we allow pride to grow in our hearts, when we ooze outwardly with compassion for a sinner but smile inwardly with self-regard, we have already fallen into a pit of sin.
We must resist the urge to compare our best moments to someone else’s worst. As Christians we have only one touchstone: Jesus Christ. When we keep Him in steady view, we are much less likely to be wooed by our own good deeds, and we are much more likely to have genuine compassion for our fellow sinners.