There she goes in her tiny shorts and crop top. How dare she enter this church looking like that.
Yikes, how many tattoos does he need? I’m pretty sure he has 17 on his arm alone.
Wow, her kids are so annoying. I’ll never let my kids act that rowdy.
How can he think it’s okay to walk around, talking like that? His mouth is so filthy.
I have a really bad habit of thinking these terrible, mean thoughts. I have a thought life that would make your skin crawl. My thoughts about others are ugly thoughts. Dirty thoughts. Cruel thoughts.
Refusing to Refute and Continuing to Rant
They don’t just hide in the back of my mind; they’re in the forefront. Rarely do I think these kinds of thoughts:
There she goes in her tiny shorts and crop top. Maybe she needs attention, and I should reach out to her.
Yikes, how many tattoos does he need? I’m sure he has had a difficult life, and I should pray for him.
Wow, her kids are being so annoying. But I bet she’s exhausted and is doing the best she can.
How can he think it’s okay to walk around, talking like that? Well, he’s not perfect and I’m not either.
I know I need to stop my thoughts in their tracks. Before I start ranting (mentally or audibly), I need to stop my thoughts and determine an appropriate response. Because every time I think a demeaning or debasing thought, I assume a position on the throne as holier-than-thou.
We’re Not Stuck on the Holier-than-Thou Throne
Friends, that throne is a dangerous place to sit. As you may have been taught by Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV), “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” I tell myself that I’ll never look like that or act like that or say things like that. But my fall is coming, and my habits need to change.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete… For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:5-6, 18, ESV)
We don’t earn brownie points for patting ourselves on the back or sitting on the Holier-than-Thou throne. We are approved by God alone.
Likewise, if a thought is against God—whether it’s unloving, prideful, or simply untrue—we can’t just let it come. We have to take it captive so that it falls in line with God’s Word. Maybe that means refuting a lie Satan tells you, stopping a mean thought that’s entering your mind, or choosing to think well of people.
Loving people is tough. But we don’t just love them with our words and actions. We also love them with our thoughts.
The only One who deserves to sit on the throne is Christ because He is our holy and loving King. Once we submit to that fact—and submit our judgmental thoughts to Him—we’ll be able to see other people in a new way.