It’s very easy to be “holier than thou”! The act of salvation just makes you feel so special – that God would take time and effort for you.
Knowing His grace and experiencing the forgiveness of sin just makes you feel so great that you want to share it with others, even if that becomes a little pushy and comparative of your new nature to their sin nature.
What the Bible says is true,
Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 1 Cor 8:1
Love is your greatest gift from Father. Knowledge is great too, but can give a reason to brag or lord over someone else.
The Bible goes further with this warning.
Beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. 1 Cor 8:9-13
Yea, I know it speaks of meat offered to idols, which isn’t a big problem these days (that I know of). But it’s the liberty in Christ that can become the conflict for others.
This liberty can become the “holier than thou” complex. You feel like you’re strong enough in Christ to handle any situation – that is has no effect on you and yet a younger Christian or an unbeliever takes offense because of a lack of understanding.
It’s best to error on the side of safety, which is why Paul gave his last statement, “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
I’m sure he did not totally quit eating meat but would abstain around that person that would be offended.
I wish I could say this is easy but take it from someone that loves to jest and joke around – someone whose nature is to be a smart mouth and sometimes it takes great restraint to not offend by keeping my mouth shut!
But if my mouth makes my brother stumble, I will never again open my mouth, lest I make my brother stumble!