I Want to Be Holy, Not Holier Than Thou

Mount Pleasant Granary
Mount Pleasant Granary

  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”- Hebrews 12:11 NIV


Sometimes we say someone is “holier than thou” because they exhibit one or more of the following thoughts and behaviors:

  • They typically do not dabble in pop culture at all(e.g.. Ask them about Rihanna and you may get a stink face and asked if you were perhaps meant to say “rehire”)
  • They typically have a Scripture for everything and I do mean EVERYTHING.
  • They attend church every week or more than once a week.
  • They don’t do “normal” things and may dress differently.

Personally, what is wrong with those characteristics? Nothing really. I mean, I’d rather have Scripture daily than some of the filth I hear and read daily.

Me Thou, Art Thou?

Look closely. The term “thou” is referring to you. So I think I am holier than you( I don’t think like this- promise!)

What is disturbing is that I have been called holier than thou simply because I prefer not to do certain things. When I tell someone that I prefer juice to liquor, they get upset or perplexed. And I feel the need to explain that I never liked the taste of alcohol before I was even saved anyway.

Or the most famous one: “Yall don’t want to want to hang with us, you are too holy for me.”

Or even better: “Excuse my French, but I ain’t perfect.”

Being Holy Comes From Trials

And the list goes on…without me saying a word to offend or defend myself. Where do these thoughts stem from?

These thoughts come from the heart. And we all know that from our mouths springs issues of the heart(Proverbs 4:23). The anxieties of someone else’s heart is now projected onto me for being different.

Now, let us get something abundantly clear. Not once should you apologize for being holy. Holy simply mean set apart from God. Jesus communicated with all walks of life but he did not do it as someone who was condescending.

There is a difference.

You see, only with rigorous training and strict discipline from my Father above can I hold my head high in righteousness as Hebrews 12:11 conveys. You do not know what I had to give up, put up with and how many people had to call me out of my character,  in order for me to be trained.

I am still being trained folks. Daily.

How about you? Have any stories of being called holier than thou, or were you the caller?

I’d love for you to share!

-Erica 🙂


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