Monday, August 23, 2010

Dictionary Moment: Humility ≠ Self-Righteousness

There are 2 sides when it comes to judgmentality: the judge and the judged. As for the judged, there are indeed those who too often resort to the very asinine "I'm just being myself, so don't judge me" mentality, which, if ultimately given way to, the distinction between morality and immorality becomes completely nonexistent. If you build the guts to do something, anything, then you better save enough to face the consequences.

But the focus in this case is primarily on the self-righteously judgmental who is, in fact, spiritually destructive in his manner. One can only ponder the great number of individuals that hide behind righteous masks and how many are truly relentless about divulging specific things done, or ideas hidden, that are clearly ungodly to more than trustworthy counterparts. When defining "humility", in many cases the first impression is a gentle, seemingly good person giving out free hugs, big smiles, and groveling to the ground. Such a definition is quite asinine and sometimes even culturally inconsistent.

Humility of any true value extends beyond merely quoting passages and regurgitating phrases such as "bless you, my brother". On the contrary, the humble sinner will sometimes be interpreted as one of the filthiest in the eyes of man yet immersed in the eyes of God, and this is due to the volition of honesty regarding his own corruption. In light of dealing with this,
Romans 8:1 is important, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." No man has the authority to condemn another man under the construction of the hands of God. Perhaps the individual is going through a fruitless period as a part of his ultimate growth in Christ; however, to partner that statement, I must note that condemnation is not to be confused with accountability. Yet, it is inevitable that the honest man will often be ridiculed by the self-righteous man, who is condemning irrespective of the notion that when a man is penalized for honesty he learns to lie. Self-righteousness is much like a spiritual egocentricity. It constitutes a secular type of love that thrives under conditionality, one in which is only existent after an individual meets the adopted standards of the condemner; oppositely, unconditional love is a holy love. People more easily welcome the man that was crafty about hiding his own immoralities while willfully rejecting the man known to have said or to have committed something immoral.

There is a difference between idealistically generalizing man and maliciously attacking the individual. Many young hearts today have the balance of effective judgmentality in reverse. They are afraid to judge humanity, yet are willing to hastefully judge the individual. One, however, is more precise when he is warm enough to a degree in which he does not judge the individual, yet he is wise enough to a degree in which he does judge humanity. Why is this so? The individual can and will justify himself by his own motives, thus, no man is truly at liberty to pass accurate judgment on another without a fair case. Man-to-man argumentation achieves very little when it comes to defining absolute morality. Whereas, judging humanity before the individual forms an unjustifiable depiction of sin, an unavoidable axiom that the individual cannot deny. He knows that at times he partakes in it. He cannot justify himself in knowing that his sin is a reality. A man does not have to feel less than human to realize his sin; oppositely, he has to realize that he gets no special vindication for his sin.

Although, what do I mean by "judging humanity"? It is in some respects understanding the consistencies of man. For instance, drinking is such a necessity to human life that people cannot fathom an individual who, like a child confined to a church pew, gets little enjoyment out of it and would rather do other things. There is an irrefutable truth value to such an observation. While drinking in itself is certainly not an act of sin, the commonality here is the nature of man, and in this case, idolatry, the things in which we may too often depend on. It then becomes evident as to why God's commandments are absolute truths rather than movements susceptible to emotions.
"I have been yet another petty fool; I shall now reach further than the average man." To put it quite simply, a pure heart does not demean the spirit of an individual, it, instead, compels the individual to examine his spirit.

For the believer, humility is honesty about one's greatest flaws to a degree in which he is fearless about truly appearing less righteous than another (e.g. "Yes, I lusted after her", "Yes, I hope I can make more money", "Yes, I search for loopholes in song lyrics so that I can listen to the music I want", "...Yet God is my discipline and my guidance."). All individuals have moral deficiencies, and when introducing these to reality one not only strengthens himself but also the confidence of others in the human exigency for Christ due to a reflection throughout the body of Christ. In simpler terms, the believer should avoid living in fear of open self-evaluation - a fear of weakness only strengthens weakness. The heart of Christianity is not about being a good person; it is about being saved by grace through faith because you are a bad person. Every man knows that he would never compare to a holy and sovereign God (even the non-believer, theoretically, knows it if there was indeed a holy being); hence, it is easy for one to repeat what is already written, "...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags [to God]," (Isaiah 64:6). However, it is difficult to expose oneself as though he truly means it, that he is, when astray from God, the epitome of nothingness.

1 comment:

  1. The presence of humility in itself is the absence of self-righteousness. However, we Christians have adopted a habit if saying quite effectively "hate the sin but not the dinner", yet, when faced with a person who has done a deed that we (because) it's not our weakness, can never see ourselves performing, we DO condemn the "sinner@ Now, just because that's not our sin, does not mean that we are sinless. We judge. All day, everyday! We judge especially those who sin "differently" from us, and our "love" of others us the love for those who are as we'd looks like them to be. Not as they are, yet we should love them so they can be what Christ wants them to be.

    God help us all.