Spiritual Snobbery

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – Jesus, John 13:34-35

Yes, “snobbery” is a word in case you began reading this blog with that thought – I looked it up to be sure, moving on…

On Sunday, February 21st, I taught John 13:18-38 on how Jesus has love for the backstabbers and bail outs.  We focused a lot on how He loved and how we are to love.  It is a high calling indeed and one we are incapable of doing simply in our own strength, but Jesus gives us the power to love others the way He did.

One of the ways we can be unloving (maybe without even realize it) is when we begin to develop what I will call “Spiritual Snobbery”.  Let me explain…

I read an article (and I got its point and agreed with much of the author’s premise) and in the article it mentioned the “if you like that, you will love this” lists for music (ie. if you love Hootie & the Blowfish, you will love Third Day; etc.).  The article seemed to almost look down on those lists (and I am in no way critizing the author because this is outside his points) and I at first found myself agreeing with him in that we are simply copying the world’s way instead of being our own creative being as Christians.  However, I remembered those lists are what drew me to Christian music in the first place and Christian music has been a huge factor in my spiritual walk and made a major impact on my life.  As a young Christian, I needed those lists to help me in finding Christian music I would like and they did just that.  Just because I don’t need them now (and I’m not sure whether they exist or not) as a more mature Christian, does not mean they are less useful.

Spiritual snobbery happens when we look down on things not up to our level of “spiritual maturity”.

When we begin to make fun of things in Christian culture because we are mature and therefore cooler than “those things”, spiritual snobbery is happening.  When we make fun of young Christians in the faith because they are zealous to take on the world and have not figured out how things work (in our “spiritually mature” minds), that is spiritual snobbery.  When we look down on Christians because they don’t know as much as we do in theology or the Bible or whatever, that is spiritual snobbery.  When we turn down our nose at other churches because they don’t teach the way we teach (I’m not talking about churches that teach false doctrine or unorthodox teaching but topical vs verse-by-verse, etc), that is spiritual snobbery.  If we look down on others for their supposed lack of liberty (or because they have “too much” liberty), that is spiritual snobbery.  If we find others describing us as “jerks for Jesus” because of our coldness or superiority complex, we have perhaps become spiritual snobs.

Spiritual snobbery is not love and is not the way Jesus loved.

Jesus was around sinners and tax collectors, yet never condoned their actions nor joined in with them.  He loved on them while also pointing to their need for Him.  The early church was the same way.  If we find that we can’t love those who are in the world (be it our neighbor, our president, our co-worker, etc) because they are less than us, we have become spiritual snobs.

The only way to combat spiritual snobbery is to take a deep hard look at ourselves.  When we do we will realize in and of ourselves we are wretched, no-good, sinful people in major need of grace.  God did not call us because He was gaining something; we are the fools of the world, the nobodies, the foolish, the un-noble (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).  The only thing that makes us something is Jesus as He looks at us as His bride and beloved children.  He uses us to bring Him glory and all glory should be going to Him.  We aren’t somebody now because we have been saved for a while or because we know a lot about the Bible.

The more you grow in love with Jesus, the more you will love others the way He loved.  Spiritual snobbery only shows you aren’t growing in your love for Jesus.

This blog post comes from further thoughts of the sermon on John 13:18-38 titled “Love for Bail Outs & Backstabbers” which can be found by clicking here or simply visiting http://www.refugesanger.com/teachings

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