As they talk about other Christian's faults and gossip about the things others do, they say to me, “I’m not like those other Christians. I actually get it.” I'm not talking about any one person particularly, but yet that group of Christians everyone seems to know or maybe it's not even a group, but only 1 or 2, but this phrase, or others very similar, seems to be a very common "go-to" saying. Why do people think down on others or maybe they don't and just simply acquire a "holier than thou" outlook. In most instances, this outlook seems to be evident in areas of Christian liberty, or areas where the Bible is not specific, yet the matter is left to the discernment of the Christian. There are, however, instances where this is evident in ministry, Bible studies and discussions, and even in the mundane things of the christian life. There is a great Bible verse in 1 Corinthians chapter 8 and the context is Christian liberty.
1 Corinthians 8:1 "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."
The bold, italics is always the part that jumps out at me. As mentioned above, this particular outlook does not need to be about Christian liberty matters, but it could just be the result of once attending some classes at a great seminary or even some classes from a knowledgeable teacher or pastor. Even having gone through the same experiences that others are currently going though seems to give people an entitlement outlook of "I get it, but you don't yet" or just experience and position in general seems to demand respect (almost looking for an awe effect) when not earned. There are lots of reasons people feel entitled to superiority over others. James 4:10 and 1 Peter 5:6 are virtually the same verse.
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
Romans 12 adds a new dimension to humbling ourselves, but also to keep control of our own thoughts.
Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
One problem with having a self-superior outlook is that there is no way to know the way the person on the other end will react to this attitude. The recipient could be on the verge of a mental overload simply from all the stress of life. To have to listen to someone's self-superior retort might shun them away. They might also be just having a bad day and are not able to control their tongue at that moment. Obviously, there's no excuse for wrongful behavior on either side and there are, of course, many other reasons to be humble. Number one being because God commands it. Another reason would be that God resists the proud and will one day chasten them with whatever is needed to humble that person......and it could be life changing depending on the Christians level of pride. It could be humiliating, like King Nebuchadnezzar's experience.
Isaiah tells us that God's thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. When Christians are not humble enough to change perspectives and attitudes and responses towards others, that Christian will be humbled by God himself. It is always safer to be humble rather than be humbleD and humiliated