Have you ever had that moment when you see a difference between you and somebody else, and you suddenly feel superior, maybe even empowered? To be honest, I know I have – for embarrassingly shallow reasons sometimes. I think struggling with superiority complexes is pretty natural. We all want to feel good about ourselves, but sometimes we get there in the wrong ways. As Christians, I think there are two major ways we struggle with superiority.
Better than Non-Christians?
The first is some of us think we’re better than non-Christians. But being saved doesn’t make us any better than those who aren’t. We’re still sinners. It’s by God’s grace and God’s grace alone that we have salvation in Christ. But for some of us, it turns into a struggle to remember that once upon a time, we also didn’t have the Holy Spirit in us to help us and guide us.
The attitude toward unbelievers that Scripture tells us to take is one of humility and compassion. Colossians 3:12 says, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” There is no room for pride in those characteristics. It’s God, not us, who deserves all the glory. We could never earn our way to heaven on our own.
Better than Other Believers?
The second way a lot of us feel superior to others is we think we’re better than other believers. We know the embarrassing story of the disciples asking Jesus who would be first in the kingdom of God. Oops! But we’re also Christ’s disciples and face the same struggles they did. Maybe we think earning a Bible degree makes us more important. Or maybe our acts of service make us feel superior. Either way, we need to remember that we have the same Holy Spirit living in us and empowering us to do God’s will.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Do we do this? I’m not sure. I see an awful lot of social media posts along the lines of “I’m right and you’re wrong, and God’s going to judge you for it.” Oh, the hubris! In case we need the reminder, we’re not omniscient God! We are all capable of being wrong. Our focus should be on glorifying God with our actions. Maybe it would help us to remember that God will reward our efforts in heaven.
Master over All
Really, when we think we’re better than others, we’re trying to take God’s place of honor. I don’t think we mean to. I think we genuinely want to live our lives the best we can to glorify God, but we’ve just gotten a little off track. By God’s grace, we can acknowledge Him as Lord and get back on track.
One of the Old Testament Hebrew names of God is Adonai, which means Lord or Master over all. Deuteronomy 11:1 says, “Therefore thou shalt love the Lord [Adonai] thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.” When we remember just how great and mighty God is, it helps keep us humble.
So, let’s stop playing the comparison game. Our worth comes from God and God alone. We want to nurture good relationships with non-Christians so we can witness to them, and we want to encourage and build up our brothers and sisters in Christ, all to the glory of God. Let’s praise God together for being the Master over us all!
Family Radio Staff