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Love Your Neighbors...

When They're 'Better' Than You
Christians may be tempted to see themselves on a moral high ground with their
secular friends in the valley below but the truth is were all in the valley. The thing
that separates Christians from non-Christians is not behavior or morals its grace. Its
grace that you understand the gospel, grace that you have salvation, and grace that
you are convicted when your behavior is not Christ-like. Though you may have some
acquaintances or friends whose behavior is questionable or dangerous, chances are
you also have several non-Christian friends and neighbors who are genuine and
kind, good parents, and they may even share many of the same values and morals
as you.
Jen Pollock Michel, author and blogger, has written an article for The Gospel
Coalition titled The Myth of Moral Superiority: When Youre No Better than Your
Agnostic Friend. When comparing yourself to your non-Christian friend, she
implores us to remember:
None is righteous, the apostle Paul writes in Romans 3:10. Even the most morally
upright person, Christian or non-Christian, falls short of Gods glory.
The gospel doesnt make me better. But it does make me eager to admit my debts
and deficits, grateful to receive Gods good gifts from whomevers hand they come.

Michel gives an example from her church service in which the pastor humorously
states, It is the practice of Christians throughout the centuries to publicly and
privately confess their sins to Godwhich might seem strange, considering that we
are better than everyone else.
Confession is a way to give ourselves a reality check. Confession reminds us that
were not called to out-do others with our morals, but instead were called to follow
Jesus humbly and share the news of His grace with others.
Michel writes,

We dont have to be better than our non-Christian neighbors and family, friends and
colleagues. We just have to be the forgiven and the faithful, willing to proclaim the
gospel even to the good people who earnestly strive to follow their moral code.
Michel continues, To be a Christian is to relinquish self-will and moral selfconfidence. For its amazing grace that saves the wretchas well as the
To read Michels full article please visit The Gospel Coalition.
Crosswalk Contributor Kathy Howard shares this in her article Should Christians be
the Morality Police?:
Sometimes Christians get so distracted by cultural skirmishes we lose sight of our
prime directive. A quick reminder of Gods purpose for Christians in the world will
help us better determine how we should respond to our cultures changing values:
We are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
We are Gods priests, declaring His praises to the nations (1 Peter 2:9).
We are Christs ambassadors, imploring the world to be reconciled to God (2
Corinthians 5:18-20).
She advises, Let us be seen as for Christ, not as against the world.