I could never do that…
I would never do such a thing…
I have never done anything like that…
Mmmm… I wonder…
Self righteousness is a sin condition. It makes us uppity, impatient, grumpy, aloof and seemingly perfect in every way. Mary Poppins watch out!
Often it manifests itself with additional comments like ‘it’s not often I am wrong’ or the proverbial ‘lofty eyebrows’!
I am the gift
The problem with self-righteousness stems from a heart that says ‘I’ am right. ‘I’ have never committed that particular sin and couldn’t imagine myself doing that and therefore ‘I’am going to condemn that person. ‘I’ will withdraw affection. ‘I’ will let them know of my displeasure. ‘I’ will show you how holy you should be… Yuk, it’s horrible even to imagine and yet most of us are guilty of this sin without realising it.
You see, when ‘I’ am on the throne, ‘I’ imagine that ‘I’ am godly because of what ‘I’ have done. This attitude steals all the glory from Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Humility recognises that we are dead in our sins before He saves us… We are nothing without God, if there is anything good about us it is God’s work.
A minister one said ‘it’s not how you act – it is how you react’.
So when someone is found to be sinning, are you moved with compassion to help them? Or do you want to issue an ultimatum? ‘My’ way or the highway?
Jesus the gift
Jesus is long suffering and patient with us, He certainly is with me!
You may be right in your assumptions, but what you do with that knowledge will either move you to compassion, to pray, to be used as an instrument of the Master Healer or to withdraw, condemn and become prickly. Defensiveness is a close companion of self-righteousness. It wishes to protect ‘I’ by quickly dissolving any charge of ‘I’ being wrong. Self-righteousness is a delusion.
Can you relate to this at all?
Is Jesus on the throne of your heart?
As we approach Christmas, if you have been holding on to your own righteousness for too long, give it to Him who can cleanse you from all unrighteousness – or self-righteousness. Make it your gift to the baby that came into the world for the ungodly, the imperfect, the down trodden, the broken, the weak.
The gift of faith
The Bible says,
“to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness”