Now that we’re in the latter parts of summer, I’m hopping on the health train again. A couple of my friends are on a program that diagnoses their macro-nutrients and have seen great results. Their results are turning me into a believer. So I’m going to give it a try.
If you ask my wife, she will tell you that when I find something I like, I start “obsessing” over it. If you ask me, I just get really focused on doing it right and enjoying the process. Whatever you call it, I’m a really invested person when I commit to whatever I’m into.
Another of my friends is responsible for getting me invested in coffee – and not the Starbucks, Folgers, or Maxwell House stuff. I’m talking about the locally roasted Avoca and Edison stuff here in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. The good stuff.
Find out how to support more Articles like these by becoming a Patron.
I have learned to enjoy the results of healthy eating and the taste of good coffee. I also learned I can be self-righteous about both. I used to think that the only self-righteous people were the people who wore suits to church, did and said all the right ‘Christian’ things, and judged other people for not serving God the way they do.
It turns out that they’re not the only type of self-righteous people. We can be self-righteous about anything.
Stay-at-home moms can be judgmental towards moms who send their kids off to public schools – and vice versa. Coaches can judge athletes who decide not to play their sport any longer. Athletes judge other athletes who aren’t as athletic as them. And we judge people by their accents and draw conclusions about them before knowing anything about them.
I’m prone to do this with coffee and eating healthy.
Judging Coffee Drinkers and Eaters
When I see people loading their coffee with cream and sugar I silently shake my head in judgement. I make light of it by smirking, but before I know it I’m making a conclusion about what type of person they are solely based on how they like to drink their coffee. I self-righteously look down on them and wrongly assume that they are high maintenance people.
I can definitely do this with healthy eating too. When I am following the guidelines of my diet and exercise, and I witness someone driving out of the McDonald’s drive-thru chomping their french fries and double quarter-pounder with cheese, I again shake my head. I self-righteously conclude they are the type of people who don’t care about their health and wrongly assume that if they don’t care about their health they don’t care much about anyone or anything else.
Legalists and Anti-Legalists
If we do an honest self-assessment, we’ll find that there are many things we can be self-righteous about. We assume that if people aren’t doing the same things we are doing – or aren’t doing it the same way we do it – then they’re wrong or lesser than us. We can even be self-righteous about self-righteous people. It’s what a friend of mine – Hannah Krynicki – identifies as legalism vs. anti-legalism. We pass judgements about people we identify as self-righteous based on their moralistic and ethical choices we might be the only self-righteous ones in the equation.
The interesting thing about our self-righteousness is we sometimes judge people based on where we were. I used to be the guy at Starbucks loading my coffee with, cream, sugar, and two pumps of caramel. I used to be the guy eating the double quarter pounder with cheese and french fries. Now I’m just the guy eating the spicy chicken deluxe with a large fry from Chick-fil-A – not too much different from the McDonald’s guy I was.
The gospel point to all of this is that we were all once dead in our trespasses. We all were once enemies of God. We all were on our way to hell. Nothing could stop us – not our good looks, good behavior, good coffee, nor healthy eating habits.
It is by grace alone that we have been brought to life. We are saved from the wrath of God because of the sacrificial love of Christ.
Self-Righteous Judging is Not Believing
This should transfer to the way we are viewing other people. It is a lesser thing to analyze the ways we are drinking coffee and eating food – but it is a large matter of the heart when we pass judgements about people based on what they do. It is revealing what we’re not believing.
When we’re quick to pass judgements we’re revealing that we don’t believe we’ve been saved by grace through faith in Christ. We show unbelief in the righteousness of Christ on our behalf and rely on self-righteousness.
We’re saying we don’t believe that God’s love is enough to validate us. We think we need people to do what we do to validate who we think we are. And when they don’t, we try to disciple them in our ways instead of the ways of Christ.
But the gospel frees us from such bondage. We don’t have to be constrained to our self-righteousness and self-image. Nor do we have to be constrained to the judgements of others. We have a Father who loves, secures, and validates us in Christ forever.
Support more Articles like these by becoming a Patron.