the weblog of Alan Knox

Better, Faster, Stronger…

Posted by on May 14, 2007 in blog links, community, fellowship | 16 comments

I enjoy reading Dan Edelen’s posts from “Cerulean Sanctum“. His lastest post is called “Better Than You“. He recognizes that we often compare ourselves to others – especially those with whom we compare favorably. As he says, thinking “I’m better than you” is not having the mind of Christ:

It doesn’t take much for us to compare, does it? The senses take in data and the judgmental wheels start grinding. Too often, they grind up others Jesus said are my neighbors.

I see an out-of-control parent fighting an out-of-control child and I think of that parent in terms of “I’m better than you.” I talk with a baby Christian who doesn’t have his doctrine down right and “I’m better than you” rattles around in my head, bouncing off every slightly off statement that newbie pronounces. I consider all the things I own, then look to some poverty-stricken soul in Africa, and I start singing the “I’m better than you” song.

Only that tune grates on the ears. Maybe not mine, but the Lord’s.

I have to admit that this post hits home. I find myself guilty of this wrong thinking too often.

I’m working on a post called “Accept One Another…” Could it be that looking at ourselves as better than others is one way that we do not truly accept one another? I hope to publish this post soon. I think Dan’s post is a good way to begin thinking about our attitudes toward others.

So, do you sometimes think you are better than others? Do you think others are better than you (not putting others’ desires above your own as in Phil 2, but actually thinking others are better)? Why are each of these attitudes wrong?


16 Comments

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  1. 5-14-2007

    We just had this discussion last night and we called it pride.

  2. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  3. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  4. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  5. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  6. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  7. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  8. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  9. 5-14-2007

    Alan-
    So many of the posts I’ve read lately keep bringing me back to the pride/humility thing, even when that wasn’t always the intent of the post. I read Dan Edelen’s post, too, and there it was again!
    Funny how God uses both His Word and His people to point out the lack of humility in my own life. He even uses blogs.
    Kat

  10. 5-14-2007

    Chad and Kat,

    I agree that pride plays a huge part in this. God accepted us as we are. Are we willing to accept others in the same way? Similarly, anything good in us is the work of God, not our own work. Thus, as Paul said, we have nothing in which to boast, except Christ of course.

    -Alan

  11. 5-14-2007

    Alan, I think it’s about attitude in having the mind of Christ by choosing to value others as more important than myself. This is in anticipation of what Christ has already accomplished for us in his death and resurrection, as I’m currently working on trying to better understand, in Miroslav Volf’s, The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World.

    I do admit it is easy for me to see myself as better than others. But I believe God helps me know better than that, usually in short order, as I realize my own heart or struggle.

  12. 5-14-2007

    Alan,

    Thanks for the link to my post at Cerulean Sanctum on thinking ourselves better than others. It’s an all-too-easy out for us, isn’t it? I find myself checking my heart more than ever as the Spirit leads, and more often than not, my air of superiority outdistances my ability to love others as they are.

  13. 5-14-2007

    Ted,

    Christ is definitely our example in this, and as Paul said, we have the mind of Christ. Now, we must submit ourselves to the Spirit so that we can walk according to his mind instead of our own mind.

    Dan,

    Thanks for a great post, and for taking part in the discussion here as well. It is “all too easy” to compare ourselves with others, and to find favorable comparisons. Allowing the Spirit to teach us to “love others as they are” is also very difficult. But, that is what he does, when we submit to him.

    -Alan

  14. 5-15-2007

    I think Martha felt that way toward Mary, too. And the disciples toward Mary when she broke the Alabaster jar and poured herself out onto His feet. Hmmm…

  15. 5-15-2007

    Bryan,

    And John and James toward the other disciples. I think there are several examples of this is Scripture. I’ve also seen this in my life much too often.

    -Alan

  16. 5-16-2007

    That is why it is so incredible that God doesn’t love us because of what we do but because of who we are. That is why we can’t believe the lie that it is about what we do. We are His Sons and Daughters, not because we are qualified or earned it, but because God loves us.