The Bible tells us that there are some words that make God gag. You know what gagging is, right? It’s also called “retching.” It’s that awful, violent feeling just before you throw up. This isn’t something nice to even write about!
Can you imagine God feeling ill and even gagging when he hears people say these words? They must be pretty bad, right? Well, here they are! What do people say?
They say, ‘Keep your distance. Don’t touch me. I’m holier than thou.’
These people gag me. I can’t stand their stench. (Isa 65:5, NLT.)
That anyone would say such words is so absurd to God, that these are the words that make him gag.
Of course, no Christian would admit to saying the actual words, “I’m holier than thou”. But there are many who say it with different words, and through how they live and how they treat others.
Mercy is for the merciful
When you set up unbiblical standards of lifestyle, dress, or even diet, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you apply your own standards – biblical or not – to another person without the sweet influence of the grace of God, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you exclude another from your group, because they don’t meet your standards, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you expect another to precisely share your world-view, understanding of doctrine, or prophecy before you can fully love them and accept them, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you think that you are in a more favoured position with God because of the religious group to which you belong, compared to those who don’t belong, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you think that God is blessing you with more money or health than the homeless person or the drug addict at the end of your street, because of what you believe or the things you do to please God, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you limit salvation to people who think just like you, you’re being “holier than thou”.
When you pass by the opportunity to help those in need, you’re being “holier than thou”.
There are many ways to be “holier than thou”; to say the words that make God gag.
We should remember that mercy is only for the merciful (Matt 5:7). The reason for that is that if you’re “holier than thou,” you’ll never think you need it.
That’s why Jesus spent his time mainly with those who knew they needed him. He never turned away anyone who came to him in humility. But his harshest words were reserved for those who came to him presenting the false credentials of their lives and their achievements.
Still, God loves those whose words make him gag, because the “holier than thou”, by their attitude, reveal that they need him most of all.
Let’s resolve to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8)
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.