I used to be a snob, but I’m better than that now (and better than you)


C.S. Lewis famously warned us of the dangers of chronological snobbery, and he is right on.
My own snobbery begins in my mind with this sentence, “I used to…” I try to stop it from coming out of my mouth, but don’t always succeed. Of course I want it stopped in my heart, and don’t want to be satisfied with merely not saying the wrong thing (contrary to our cultural dogma, social skills do not cause sinlessness).

There is of course a sense in which a believer being sanctified by the Holy Spirit will be changing and so “I used to…” will not be an uncommon thought. But we must guard against the encroachment of self-righteousness. We must believe the actual Gospel, not Christ-languaged Moralism.

We all strain against the fact that we have nothing to offer God but empty hands and a cry for help. The surrender is the victory.

This is a pitfall for which artists seem to have a particular proclivity.

Snobbery should be something we despise, not an avenue by which we despise others.


  1. Jeff Coulter

    Good thought Sam. Reminds me of a quote of John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not what I hope to be. Yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was. By the grace of God, I am what I am.”

  2. Shawn

    I think Sam has subtly responded to Stacy’s triple blog dare with his spelling of “Aaaron”. I used to do sneaky stuff like that…

  3. Rachel

    I am forever annoyed with the inability to describe exactly why or how a particular moment moves me. This post is doing that. Thanks [sincerely] Good Stuff.

  4. Stacy Grubb

    Oh, Thank You! I will assume I win your concern for how my name is spelt (since you got it right and everything). Truly an honor to be recognized.


  5. Tony Heringer


    Great quote! Thanks for sharing that.


    Chronlogical snobbery is something we are definitely guilty of. Its funny too because most of us reading these blogs (here or at [shamless plug] sdsmith.net) are wimps compared to generations past or folks living in other parts of the world just looking for a cool cup of water. Thanks for the reminder.

    Be God’s,


  6. Mike

    Sam Thanks. I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that I at times was a “grace pharisee.” The fact that I said I used to be a pharisee made me one still. So in the words of John Fischer I am a recovering pharisee (snob).

  7. S. D. Smith


    Yikes, the reign of terror for this post continues. Five Days. I think they surrender.

    I used to like Ron Block, back when he wasn’t such a snob.

    Thanks, Mike. You are nicer than Ron Block.


  8. Aaron Roughton

    I used to think that I understood grammar. The word “used” is defined as “employed for a purpose.” So “I used to like Ron Block” translates “I employed for a purpose to like Ron Block.” That’s just silly business. Ask Ron. “Used” can also be defined as “to drink, smoke, or ingest habitually,” as in, “I drank, smoke, and ingested [drugs] habitually to like Ron Block.” That makes slightly more sense. However, my conclusion is that English is stupid.

  9. kevin

    Can you imagine someone who just finds this by accident and doesn’t know anything about you bunch of nuts? (Note the snobbish use of “you”)

    It’s possible they might come to a wrong conclusion and think schnobbish thoughts about you for being schnobbish, thus perpetuatin the circle of schnobbishness swirling from the dawn of time.

  10. Nathanael

    You said “I used to think I understood grammar.”
    Do you mean “I employed for a purpose to think I understood grammar”?
    Or do you mean “I drank, smoke, and ingested [drugs] habitually to think I understood grammar”?

    The minions are awaiting your reply with bated breath.

  11. Aaron Roughton

    Nathanael, I’m sorry for the confusion. I drank, smoke, and ingested habitually to write more clearly. Now I’m apparently having problems. To muddy the waters even further, I didn’t mean either of those. I meant to use the expression “used to” to mean “accustomed to.” So my sentence more correctly translates, “I accustomed to think I understood grammar.” And clearly I don’t understand grammar. Thanks for pointing that out.

  12. Tony Heringer

    Note: The following must be read with a Scottish dialect (Think British Open golf announcer). Now back to the Rabbit Room which is already in progress.

    Useful post lad. Useful.

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