I have traveled in and out of different churches due to my husband’s job. We have attended different denominations, different cultures and varying levels of spirituality. All the while I have noticed the same thing in each church. There is always a degree of sanctimony in some of the members.
Because there will always be people in the church that are fakes. When you are faking something, most of the time you either fall short of representing it or you over exaggerate the character. People who are not very close to God either show it in their lives or they become sanctimonious in their actions.
Just from observations alone I have come up with a list of sanctimonious characteristics and actions:
Very loud about what they are doing. Whether it is praying, singing, giving, helping, serving or teaching- they tend to do so in a manner where others know that they’re doing it.
~ “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have your reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself rewards you.” Matthew 6:1-4
Judgmental. Sanctimonious people are very judgmental. They will point out the faults of others, ignoring their own. “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Many times the things we see in others as wrong are the very things that we do ourselves but justify.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
Prideful. A person who is sanctimonious is said to be “disapproving.” When we disapprove of someone’s actions, it’s usually because we have our own idea of what they should be doing. (Judging them) Pride says that I’m wrong, you’re wrong. Sanctimony involves an idea that you’re morally superior to someone else. That’s pride in a nutshell.
“Pride comes before a fall.”
Chances are that if you’re sanctimonious then you’ll either fall to find out or you’ll repent before it happens. Either way- it will be brought to light what you are doing. At that time you will have a decision to make: either repent and turn from your sanctimony; or keep at it and fall.