Recently I have seen quite a bit of self-righteousness being exhibited in certain situations in my life. To process the term self-righteousness, you must be humble yourself. The Bible gives us many examples of what it means to be a humble servant of God. When we put the needs of others before ourselves, we become humble unto the Lord. When we get focused on me, myself and I approach we fall into the trap of self-righteousness.
What does it mean to be self-righteous? I guess I have seen this definition take on several forms. One form of the term is an arrogant approach of self-gloating. The other path is thinking so highly of yourself that everyone pales in comparison to your greatness. Either example is unbecoming of a Christ-follower. We need to guard ourselves against self-righteousness and in turn become humble at the feet of the Lord.
The world that we live in makes it easy for us to be humble. Our accomplishments in life continuously measure us. People have a thirst for patting themselves on the back instead of giving glory to God. When you question people like this, they become defensive. They become defensive because they are trying to protect the perch that they created with their arrogant ways. When you find yourself face to face with a self-righteous individual, more often then not they will tell you how great they are. This person will be quick to point out your flaws and quick to sing their praises. We can expect this behavior from nonbelievers. But when we experience this response from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it becomes concerning.
Self-righteousness leads us away from God.
When you are caught up in yourself, you are not caught up in God. You are always planning your next move and celebrating when you succeed. Instead of putting everyone on notice of your accomplishments, instead turn these good things into praises for the Lord. The Lord loves to hear us praise him. He does not like it when we take credit for his hand in our life.
James 4:6 NASB But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
When we are humble, God is on our side. When we practice self-righteousness, we are opposed to God. In my life, I hope that the act of being self-righteous turns into humbleness. For I cannot change the hearts and minds of others, but only lead by humble example.