Holier Than Thou?

“Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you.”

— 1 John 3:13

We often hear people talk about a person who has a “holier than thou attitude.” Now if there is anything that we hate it is a holier than thou attitude. But there probably is one thing that we hate even more and that is a holier than thou fact; in other words, often we totally forget that there are people who are in actual fact holier than we are.

Justification admits of no degrees whatsoever—there is no one in this world who is more justified than I am, because I am completely and totally justified. I am totally pardoned from all of my sins and accepted as righteous before God. But unlike justification, which admits of no degrees, sanctification does admit of degrees and is greater in one than in another.

So there are indeed in just about any church at any given time people who are at all levels of spiritual growth and sanctification. People who are at all levels of holiness; and if there is one thing that makes many people uncomfortable, it is to be in the presence of someone that is markedly and notably more holy than they are because it is a silent condemnation of their ungodliness and of the remnants of wickedness and worldliness that still cling to their lives. That is why the world sometimes will hate us. May God give us the grace to walk in holiness and to aspire to be more holy.

Holy Father, we wish to be more holy and for Your image to be seen more clearly in us. Grant us to walk in humility and holiness. Let us seek our friendship with those who are holier than we are…