I can’t stand high horses, so why do I consistently climb up on mine? Maybe I just like the view? Who knows.
My latest high horse adventure was just the other day when a dear girlfriend mentioned she’d run into a mutual friend – we’ll call him J. And J’s not just any mutual friend, but one who’d been at the center of a church scandal. I won’t go into details, but J left the ministry over the scandal.
When my girlfriend told me about running into J and how they’d talked, I huffed (as you can only do when you’re up on that high horse) and reminded her of all his failures. She went on to tell me about what was happening in J’s life and I huffed again and said “can’t believe you’re so gracious after everything that happened.” And then she said “well, I’m not one to judge after all we’ve been through.”
WHAMO! that hit me right between the eyes. My girlfriend was quick to say “not that you’re being judgmental.” But I was being judgmental, she was just being kind. I was right up on top of my high horse thinking because J’s sin was on display for all to see, hear and talk about that made him worse than me. It doesn’t. It just makes him a better target.
I don’t know J’s heart, but I sure know mine. I was acting proud and arrogant. I was thinking that deadly thought “Lord, at least I’m not as bad as J (or K or L or whatever letter your person is.)” I was full of pride; I was minimizing my sins and maximizing the sins of others. Sin is sin. And I’m definitely not one to judge anyone – kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
All have sinned – that includes me why up here on my high horse. The Lord used the humble heart of my girlfriend to speak volumes to my spirit. I've prayed for a humble spirit and I've asked the Lord to make me realize when I'm being proud. He did.
Over the last many months, I’ve claimed several verses and worked to apply them to my life. One is:
Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:10
This past year has been a blast – it’s been a roller coaster of an adventure from incredibly wonderful and fun to confusing and sad. It’s been one amazing adventure with the Lord and it comes on the heels of one of the most difficult times I’ve experienced in my Christian life. I’m just humbled that the Lord has blessed me in so very many ways and He just continues to do so while I’m acting all self –righteous up on that high horse.
Why is it so very easy to see the sins of others and not the ones that I commit? Believe me, it’s a full time job just asking for forgiveness from all of my sins– I have plenty to keep me busy.
Remember those verses I’ve claimed. Here is another:
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
More grace to the humble. I need more grace. I need all the grace I can get my hands on. It is grace that saved my soul (Eph 2:10) and grace that set me free from the chains of sin (Romans 6:14). This is the grace I live under and it’s the grace that J lives under, too. This is the grace that covers our sins whether they’re known all over town or a secret only known by you.
Just because my name isn’t on everyone’s lips and my transgressions aren’t the topic of the day, doesn’t mean I don’t need that same grace. I do. I, too, fall short of the glory of God. Daily.
So for now, I’ll stay off the high horse and work on humbling myself before the Lord. He’s my joy and my strength. And when J comes to mind again (or up in conversation), I’ll remember to pray for him. Maybe he will do the same for me.
And I hope to put that high horse out to pasture -- for good.
Come by and visit my blog, Joy Filled Living