Looking Down On Others

So lately I have been on a kick of reading through many of my old Our Daily Bread devotional books that I have in my office.  Recently I came across this one that I think we all need to take a look at.  One of the scriptures to consider was Romans 12:3 which says, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…”  And as you read on, here is what it said:

“After I had minor eye surgery, the nurse told me, “Don’t look down for the next 2 weeks.  No cooking or cleaning.”  The last part of those instructions was a little easier to take than the first part!  The incisions needed to heal, and she didn’t want me to put any unnecessary pressure on them by looking down.

C.S. Lewis wrote about another kind of looking down that we may have a problem with. In his book, Mere Christianity, he writes, “In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. . . . As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee who felt superior to others.  In a prideful prayer, he thanked God that he was not like other men (See Luke 18:9-14).  He looked down on extortionist, the unjust, adulterers, and the tax collector who was also praying in the temple.  By contrast, the tax collector knew he was a sinner before God and asked for His mercy.  Pride can be an issue for all of us.  May we not look down on others but instead see the God who is far above us all.”

How often have we acted just like that Pharisee who felt superior to others?  We look at clothing, and decide we are better than that person.  We look at their job, or lack of, and consider ourselves “above” them.  Perhaps we even look at the crowd they associate with, and feel that we are superior to them.  And as a result, we don’t want to talk with them, associate ourselves with them, or even worse, include them in what is going on.  “Oh, they have sinned” we think to ourselves.  But who among us hasn’t?

You see, the problem with looking down on everyone else, is that it takes our attention away from looking up at God.  And He is the only one that has the ability to look down on anyone, “…and yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Looking down from Heaven, we are all in the same boat, we are all guilty of sin.  But down here, we tend to look around, and down on others rather than looking up to God.

How sad it will be to stand in front of God on judgment day, and have to give an account as to why we considered ourselves “better” than those around us.

In Christ,

Josh