…not having a righteousness of my own…but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith… Philippians 3:9
It’s truly insane that self-righteousness would be a battle for me. In addition to the many flaws and failures that you all see, there are SOOO many more that I am keenly aware of. But still, somehow I find a way to downplay my sin, amplify the sins of others, and there it is—self-righteousness, easily identified by thoughts and feelings of moral superiority and an “I’m so glad I’m better” attitude. Charles Spurgeon said “The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation.” Now, I believe that my salvation comes from the person and work of Jesus Christ! I believe that factually, but do I trust Jesus functionally? In other words, am I thinking more about his gift of righteousness to me or am I running in my head a score sheet of how good I am doing—or, lets be honest, how much better I am doing than others? The truth is, when I’m more focused on my own righteousness than the righteousness of Jesus Christ, I am trusting myself as a functional savior.
And when self-righteousness shows up in my life, it’s just ugly. It makes me think it’s me vs them when it’s actually me vs sin. It blinds me to my sins so it stalls my growth in Christ. It robs me of the ability to love others because you can’t really love people when you think you are better than them. It makes me condescending and sarcastic rather than understanding and compassionate. It alienates me from community because people cant be real around me out of fear of judgement. The list of ramifications goes on and on.
One more Spurgeon quote
“Beware of self-righteousness. The black devil of licentiousness (thinking it’s ok to indulge in sin) destroys his hundreds, but the white devil of self-righteousness destroys his thousands.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Help me to see you for who you are, and myself for the sinner that I am. Kill the self-righteousness in me and replace it with awe inspired worship of you, thankfulness to you, and grace and love toward others. It’s truly all about you, God. Amen.