“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,” (Ephesians 2:19, NASB)
Too often I have experienced situations, even in good churches, where people lose sight of the fact that the person in the next pew is a fellow citizen, with the same access to God. True, I’ve seen this more in unhealthy churches, but unfortunately, it can happen in any church.
It usually happens when one thinks himself of more value or superior in some way. It could be because of education, or length of service in the church. It could be because of a sordid background. Pride can find a million reasons to look down on another person. This should have no place in the church of Jesus Christ.
The antidote is to keep in mind that Jesus tells us that the one who wants to be first has to be the servant of all (Mark 9:35). Oh, and that whole beam and speck thing should be remembered also. What can you see in your fellow church member that isn’t a problem in your own heart?
Jesus has no tolerance for pride. Pride is always destructive and is the chief sin and chief tool of the Enemy.
Whether you are a leader or a follower, whether you are a teacher or a student, whether you are a shepherd or a sheep, this should be kept in mind: We’re all equal at the foot of the Cross. What do you have of eternal value that was not given to you? If you cannot earn your spiritual standing, what is there to be proud about?
So play nicely with that saint in the next pew, you will likely get to spend eternity with him.