It is easy to look at things someone else does and consider it to be a much worse sin than our own. After all, in comparison to Hitler, how bad could I possibly be, right? I think we become much more like the Pharisees than we would ever want to admit. Being so careful to follow the rules just exactly so we aren’t in any danger of being found wanting.
While it is good to desire to please the Lord, it should never come at the cost of judging others. In his letter to the Corinthians, (I Corinthians 10:12) Paul wrote
Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
We should never judge others or ourselves by anything other than the perfect standard Jesus set. When we look at Him, we can see so clearly how we ourselves have fallen short and can then look at others with more compassion, knowing that we are no better than they are.
Literarily For Keeps
by Sarah Monzon
Publication Date September 26, 2018
Genres: Clean Romance, Christian Fiction
Setting: Washington Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
She only has to pretend to be married for five days. What's the worst that could happen?
Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that's exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request--quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh's has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire's prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son?
Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Ashleigh’s sister, Claire, and her boyfriend assumed that his father would never give his blessing for them to marry if he knew about Ashleigh’s divorce, especially if he knew the reason. After all, being a famous TV evangelist means that he is under some heavy scrutiny. But Ken and Anne want to meet Ashleigh and her husband, so what’s a girl going to do? After all, this is for her sister!
Enter Landon. When he hears Ashleigh explaining her dilemma to her friends at their book club, he volunteers, much to everyone’s surprise. My romantic heart assumed that his reason was that he had heard all about her from his mom and had developed a crush on her, sight unseen. His explanation as to why he would do this was simply “personal reasons”. And a crush would be personal, right?
I loved the way so many literary quotes and references were used. Ashleigh was stunned that Landon was able to finish her quotes. Their bantering was so fun. I particularly enjoyed the way Ashleigh assumed so many things about what a pastor’s wife should be like. Wow! It makes me think of Elizabeth’s retort to Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley in Pride and Prejudice:
“I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.”
But don’t let the cover fool you. This is not a story full of flowers and sunshine. Author Sarah Monzon tackles some hard issues here. Ashleigh had been hurt by the church for something that wasn’t really even her fault – to the point that it didn’t affect her faith in God but it did keep her from fellowship. Almost everyone has made some rash judgments about the others and it results in secrets being exposed and eyes opened. Yet all of this is handled in a very tactful and sensitive manner with some lighthearted moments interspersed to keep it from being heavy and somber.
This is a book that will make you laugh and will also make you take a second look at the way you perceive things. I hope it will help you to remember to be slower to judge others and more gracious toward those who struggle with different sins than you do.