It’s only human nature to set ourselves up on a pedestal. I mean, we are always comparing ourselves to someone who isn’t as “good” as we are.
“Sure, I may tell a little lie here and there, but at least I’m not like Hitler who killed millions of Jews.”
“So what if I cheat a little bit on my taxes to get a little extra money each year. At least I’m not like that Jeffrey Dahmer guy!”
Or Charles Manson, or Timothy McVeigh, or John Wayne Gacy, or Ted Kaczynski, or any other notorious criminal who committed unspeakable acts of violence or murder.
God won’t judge our character against these guys. His standard for us is Christ. We could stand there all day long and say, “But I didn’t do this or that” or “But I did this and that,” and point out our “good” deeds compared to theirs, but God is going to put us up against Christ. God’s standard isn’t “almost perfect”. His standard is PERFECTION. And the ONLY one who is perfect is Christ. We’ve all heard the term “level playing field”. Well, that’s what we’re going to have. God won’t put some on higher pedestals than others based on their good works or not-quite-bad deeds. Any lie told will be judged the same as one who murdered. The act of adultery isn’t just limited to a physical act. Jesus defined adultery as any lustful thoughts we may have. So, just because someone hasn’t carried out the deed, doesn’t mean they’re free from guilt if they’ve only THOUGHT of someone in a lustful manner. Jesus said that if we say we hate someone, we’ve already committed murder in our heart.
We are vile creatures. The reason many of us haven’t resorted to acts of violence like those mentioned earlier is through the grace of God. Every single one of us is capable of carrying out violent acts. But, it’s only through God’s divine hand that we haven’t done so. These people are examples of how wicked and depraved humans really are. But, even though we haven’t done the deeds they have doesn’t mean we’re any less guilty than they are. The only thing that will keep us in right standing with God is faith in Jesus because it is His righteousness that God sees and not our sin.
We have to quit thinking so highly of ourselves because apart from Christ, God sees us no differently than those whom we consider “monsters” for the deeds they’ve done. Our “small” sins are no better than their “large” sins.