When we, as professed Christians or otherwise, insist on proclaiming our own religious/spiritual experience while ignoring or belittling that of others, we simply exalt ourselves and diminish the rest of humanity. We likewise never avail ourselves of the opportunity to practice the graciousness of Christ or to learn from one another in the exercise of love and grace.
The insistence on conformity to me and my truth is crippling as well as unkind. It displays an unwarranted arrogance which denies us an intimate relationship with the world and most of its inhabitants. The "know it all" never learns anything new because he or she is too self absorbed, too certain of his or her own certainty. The world passes them by, both because they refuse to see it and because the world itself finds them too insufferable.
The call of Jesus to the practice of meekness and humility is as real and needful on this side of the cross as ever. There is no room for the self proclaimed superiority of the strident demand to accept my understanding of God or else. Those of us, who hold to that practice, deny their hearers their due measure of respect and deny ourselves any chance for mutual learning and growth.
So much of Christian religious tradition and practice makes growth in spiritual understanding impossible. If what was done and taught in the past is what must be done and taught in the future, there can be no growth. If my version of the truth is eternally essential because it is God ordained, then I am bound and beholden to ignore anyone else's truth. Even to hear it, much less consider it would be dangerous.
This kind of thinking inevitably drives wedges into the human family. It promotes smugness, alienation, and strife. How could such behaviors be God pleasing? How could they ever promote the love, joy, peace, and freedom proclaimed by Christ? How can man's ungraciousness lead mankind to understand and embrace the grace of God? These are the haunting questions we face.