I wanted to remain free from frustration, so I said, "Please keep praying!" Within a few minutes, my husband's face appeared in my mind and Jesus very clearly said to me, "You are no better than he is. Just because you read your bible, pray and worship for hours each day does not make you better than your husband. You are not better than anyone because you do those things. Spending time in My Word does not make you better than anyone".
I fell to the ground and cried. The religious pride had been removed, and I saw myself in full view. Religious pride is an ugly, detestable thing. It harms innocent people and is counter-productive for the work of Christ. So many Christians are full of religious pride and, like me, don't see it. My heart broke, as I laid there exposed to a living, loving, restoring God. My heart was not breaking for me—it broke for my husband. I thought: How has he put up with me? I am not that important. I don't get it, I would have left me a long time ago.
When the session was over, I went to the pay phone, called my husband and apologized. I told him how much I loved him, and that I was sorry. He was shocked and happy, yet had no clue why I was saying what I was saying.
What is your story? Are you a Christian? Do you know Christians? Are you a victim of self-righteous Christians? What can we do?
How can we detect a religious mindset that aims to destroy the work of Christ?
1. A religious mindset aims to destroy. Is what you are doing helping others love Christ and people more, or do you bring forth critical attitudes?
2. A religious mindset believes they have something to offer and it makes them feel good (prideful) when they offer it. Like, I pray for someone, then have to tell the world of my great praying techniques. Do you have to feel important and valued around your peers at church? That is religious pride.
3. A religious mindset will stop at nothing to achieve its goal of destruction. If we are using any form of manipulation to achieve our goals, we are way off base. Arguing, fighting, name calling, using Scripture as a weapon and bringing harm to others, just to prove we are right, is not advancing the cause of Christ. Do you plot, scheme and meditate on proving a point for religious reasons?
Points to remember: When Jesus is involved, restoration happens. When he is not involved, division happens. The whole point of Jesus is to restore ... relationships. If we are harming people with our "righteousness" we are not righteous at all. Righteous means right standing with God. We can't be standing right with Him if we are bringing forth division because we aim to be "right." That is called pride and arrogance, not righteousness.
In closing: I pray that the body of Christ will do whatever it takes to become unimportant, so that the real cause of Christ will become the most important thing to us. If you are not a Christian and have been disillusioned by the whole idea, I just want to say on behalf of all the dumb-dumbs like me, "I am sorry if we have ever hurt you, because we were more concerned about being right than bringing forth a "right standing with Christ." Please forgive me and know that Christ is way cooler than anyone I have ever met in church, including, but not limited to, myself. I have sincerely learned the importance of insignificance.
I pray that you will desire to be insignificant, too. Please leave a comment, question or praise. I really want to see us all do the work of Christ, and pride has to go for that to happen. I am not that important.
Michelle Mangold is a blogger, business owner and mom of three kids.
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