The Secret Kind of Snob

I’ve noticed a theme of arrogance lately—but what’s weird about it is that it seems to be a socially acceptable kind of arrogance. Here’s what I mean.

We all know what a snob is, right? The textbook definition is, “a person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth or who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people.” The last part is what I want to point out. It describes something I’ve been noticing more and more: a different kind of snob . . . a secret snob, if you will.

I was at the mall the other day on my first Christmas shopping excursion of the season when I overheard two women talking about a friend they left back at the Kate Spade store. “I can’t believe she’s going to spend that kind of money on a purse,” one said to the other. “I know,” came the reply, “She always wants the latest designer bag. I would never spend that kind of money on a purse. I would never spend that kind of money on anything!”

Obviously there are several things going on here, but I couldn’t help but notice the particularly judgmental tone in their voices. They clearly thought they were better than their friend because they didn’t spend that kind of money on a designer purse. It’s an interesting twist on this idea of being a snob.

We think of snobs as people who think they are better than others because of their brand names, bank account or social status. But let me tell you a hard truth: If you’re looking down on another woman because she has a high social status or big bank account or designer brand name, she’s not the snob. You are.

The root of the problem is still the same: thinking you’re better than someone else, for any reason.

I don’t care if you’re snobby about Kate Spade or Walmart’s Great Value. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re better than someone because you spend so much money or you save so much money. It doesn’t matter what you’re being snobby about. When you think you’re better than someone else, you’re the one being a snob. It all comes from the same ugly place. No arrogance is acceptable—not even the coupon-clipping, craigslist-shopping, modest-lifestyle-living kind.

Galatians 5:26 (MSG) says, “That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.” Amen to that!

Related: Podcast episode 36—Shake Off Your Shame

Friends, let’s stop with the comparison and arrogance, regardless of what it’s about.

Instead, let’s be as compelled to give our compliments and encouragement as we are our opinions and judgements. Let’s build each other up and cheer each other on. Let’s love each other well regardless of the number in our bank account or the label on our clothes. The Christmas season always brings a long list of things for us to cherish and celebrate, so let’s make sure that the women around us are on that list as well.