Several years ago my youngest daughter told me I was judgmental. My immediate thought was “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” After hearing those words, I spent some time reflecting on my words and actions. I really wanted to know if I was a judgmental “holier than thou” person. She was right; I had some serious non-Jesus thoughts toward the sinners and pagans I encountered. Like so many self-righteous people, I justified my thoughts and attitudes around my biblical convictions.

My new revelation, though, led me back to the Bible with a few questions:

  • What did Jesus think of sinners?
  • How did he relate to them?
  • What did Jesus think of the self-righteous?

What I discovered was not some new revelation of biblical truth. I knew what Jesus thought and taught. I learned that I had somehow got sucked into a self-righteous vacuum. I had lost touch with the real world. In many ways I had become like Simon the Pharisee. Jesus told him, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” (Luke 7:47, NLT).

I had become something I had preached against – one of the frozen chosen! I had forgotten my sinful past and need for a Savior. That experience has led me on a journey to become more like Jesus and less like Simon. In the past few years God has given me opportunities to grow in this area. Since then I have spent time developing relationships with “sinful” people. Some of them have avoided me because they thougtht that I would be like most Christians they know … judgmental church people.

If you are one of those folks, it’s time to change! People are looking for real hope. It’s a shame that “sinners” feel more accepted in the honky tonk than in the church. It’s time for modern-day pharisees to become more like Jesus.