Update on Prigs

For my LDS friends, the post on the cold self-righteous prigs WAS NOT directed to any of you but rather to any and all Christians who profess to be followers of Christ and yet whose walk and talk don’t align. And I’m “guilty as charged” just like everyone else. Since he’s the person I’m around most often, DH often gets reminders to let me know whenever I’m a little too judgmental, ungrateful, complaining, sarcastic, greedy, materialistic, selfish, or prideful. He tries his best to keep me on the straight and narrow, but alas, I do a lot of wobbling and stumbling.

Here’s an example that might convey more of what I wanted to say. Yesterday a young woman shared that several people had made some negative, hurtful remarks to and about her when they learned that she was going to have a baby. Did I mention that she’s single? Does that really matter in the way she’s treated? Does it make her less “worthy” as a mother?  Of course not.

This might be an even better example. I once knew a woman who was divorced and raising three sons on her own. She had a minimum wage job and was struggling to make ends meet. Knowing her capabilities, I encouraged her to enroll in some college courses, but it seemed that one door shut after another.  She received financial aid, but there was no one to watch her children while she was in class. If she left them alone, tongues would cluck. Today she might be more successful because of online courses. Oh, but maybe not. She might not be able to afford a computer, and she wouldn’t feel ethical about using one at work. What about on campus? Well, that might work except that there were three children waiting for dinner, homework assistance, and bathtime. The reason I recall this situation so well is because there some who said she brought it on herself and because of her poor choices, she got exactly what she deserved. Did anyone offer to watch the boys even one time? Did anyone bake a casserole to take it to her? No. No one. Not once. To be honest, although I felt compassion, I didn’t help either.

Okay, final example. When I first started blogging, I read a post that I thought was a joke…really I did. The person talked about getting herself and her children all dressed in their Sunday best and going to church. While there, she noticed a person who looked a little Gothic, another that looked homeless, and still another that had disruptive children (not well-behaved like hers). In the parking lot, she noticed old cars, some of them dirty. She said (I’m not making this up) that she sadly wondered what Christ would say if He were to come and see all of those dirty, poorly dressed, ill-behaved people in His house. When I read this post, I was incredulous. I actually wrote her (you know how we bloggers are!) to comment on her attitude, and she acted as though I had a problem.

Am I looking at this wrong? Am I looking at it right but perhaps going a little overboard? I’m sitting here wondering how different the lives of the mother and her three sons would be today if someone had encouraged and helped instead of criticized and condemned.




Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

11 thoughts on “Update on Prigs”

  1. Everyone would do better to be more loving, kind and less judgmental. We are our brother’s/sister’s keeper. If we are to be Christlike we help people in their time of need and not criticize their choices. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is at a different point on their path. Shouldn’t we help them along rather than take the role of the “self righteous prig” so to speak?
    P.S. You are also one of the most encouraging, positive, kind people I know, so lay off yourself 🙂 you are not overboard!

    Thanks Connie. Kudos on the gossip comment that you made last night (that you really didn’t care if you missed out on the gossip loop Sunday).

  2. I think one of the things that people don’t realize is that we don’t have to be ‘perfect’. They think if they attain ‘enlightenment’ or are ‘saved’ that they will be completely different people; better people, happier people. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t really work that way. To point your compass North, even if you go a little out of the way, you always know where you are in relation to where you want to be/what your goal is. Don’t be perfect. Be you! Your most beautiful, engaged, and compassionate self.

    And when you stray a tad, just reorient your compass, since you’ve never lost your way – only taken a detour. I will tell you this. It is through my contact with you and others that I have taken a fresh look at LDS. You – and others – are so full of love, so full of gratitude for your family, that I have found a new appreciation for Christianity.

    Great advice. I like the idea of heading North and reorienting my compass. And thanks for the encouraging comment about how you’ve been positively influenced by some of us LDS folks. We’re trying!

  3. What a wonderful post. I have met a few Prigs (that’s a new word for me) in my life. Fortunately I have met a hundred fold more charitable folks than the other types.

    I do think that a lot of folks are going to get a big surprise when they meet the Savior, some for the worse, most for the better.

    It’s a good thing that the Savior will look to the heart, not to the wallet when he judges us and I know that I need to do a lot of work in the good deed department to show the compassion that I feel.


  4. Im glad you speak up about how you feel! I think the important thing is that someone is at church not what they look like or drive. The Lord himself was barefoot or had sandals…not gucci!

  5. Mrs. Bowers you are too harsh on yourself! Everyone who has been to church has had an interaction, or two, with the type of people you speak of. The most interesting things are always true. Real life is better than fiction, isn’t that how the quote goes? I know people who have switched churches solely because of the ethnicity of their new pastor. It is easy to forget we are human and capable of error. From misjudging other people, to perhaps not stepping in from time to time. I have read that ambivalence is a crime too. This is your blog and your opinions, everyone is free to have either.

  6. I think one of the biggest lessons Christ taught us while he was here on the Earth, through his words and his actions, is to not judge others. It is up to him and his Father to judge, not us. Too often you do encounter people in day to day life that feel that they are judge and jury. Until you have walked a mile in someone’s shoes, you can’t fully comprehend what they are dealing with. I think we should be more loving and less judgemental; I know I don’t want Jesus to judge me harshly, and I know in the scriptures it talks about how we will be judged how we judge others. I also agree that it is not the time to point out peoples’ mistakes; yes people make bad decisions, but pointing them out to them will not help their situation, showing an increase of love will. I know you have always taught me not to judge a book by its cover, but to look at the heart; I think we would all do well to heed that advice. 🙂

  7. Connie and Hayden, I’m still trying to get the hang of posting right under your comments, but I can’t seem to get it right. The comments get there, but it looks as if the original writer wrote my comments too. I followed Hayden’s advice and clicked on the person’s name, but that takes me to her (or his) site.

  8. Janet, You’re so right. I too have met more charitable people than selfish ones, and I need to remember that. About being selfish, I think that’s something we all battle.

  9. Michelle, Nice reminder about the sandals. About twelve years or so ago, some of us in the Myrtle Beach Ward were “moved” the the newly established Conway Branch. It was quite a shock from attending church in a nice building with a large number of people to suddenly meeting with about 40-50 per week in a triple-wide mobile home. The chapel doubled as a cultural hall! Anyway, I grew to love it, and I think my children benefited greatly from that since they were big fish in a little pond instead of minnows in a huge sea. It gave them confidence, and now they all fulfill their church responsibilities in an awesome way. I’m biased of course.

    Anyway, at the time there was an older lady who also started attending in Conway but shortly stopped because she just hated the building (felt it wasn’t grand enough). I thought of the Savior and the fact that he was born in a stable and wondered how a person could say she couldn’t feel His spirit there in that humble edifice?

    As an update, Conway is now a ward with a nice new building (five years maybe), and soon the members there will be attending in Myrtle Beach until the new edition is completed. I honestly got a little choked up a couple of weeks ago when I drove up in the parking lot there and saw how full it was…it used to be dusty and sparsely populated with cars; now it’s paved and full of all sorts of vehicles.

  10. Britton, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It’s true that truth is stranger than fiction…and that the world is full of unique, fascinating people.

  11. Carrie Maseda, What a wonderful comment. You must have had some super training to know such wonderful truths. Not long ago someone commented that we never know what hurts or disappointments a person is carrying in her heart, so we need to refrain from judging and show more charitable feelings.

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