What is Self-Righteousness?

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Self-Righteousness
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What is self-righteousness? It is confidence you are good, competent, intelligent, and capable. It is difficulty in saying you are wrong, foolish, stupid, proud, or rebellious. It enjoys finding or discussing the faults of others. It presumes to accuse others, when having its own set of sins. It always has opinions about others’ conduct without Scripture.

It is the defensiveness to resist and balk at correction. It is the presumption of making judgments and opinions against authority. It is the ease with which you can apply a sermon to most anyone else. It is the thought during a sermon that you do not really need change in that area. It is the response that you are comfortable with things as they are.

It is the lack of thankfulness for correction. It may cry defensively when reproved or warned about sin. It responds, “I am just a failure,” when criticized. It is the excuse, “I am not that bad – you just misunderstand me.” It remembers the sins of others when it is being corrected. It may scornfully mention the sins of the person correcting it.

What can you do? Humble yourself and admit you are at least as wicked in all your ways as the worst sinner you know (I Tim 1:15). Confess your self-righteousness as a putrid stench in the nostrils of a holy God (Luke 18:9-14). Admit your righteousnesses are as clean as used menstrual rags (Is 64:6). Beg the LORD to search and reveal your wicked thoughts to you (Job 34:32; Ps 26:2; 139:23-24). Ask for a clean heart (Ps 51:10).

Prove your clean spirit by letting God’s word correct and teach you (Is 66:2). Receive correction without rebelling (Ps 73:21-22). The blessed God never despises a broken and contrite heart (Ps 34:18; 51:17; Is 57:15). If you go down in humble contrition, He will lift you up (Jas 4:10; I Pet 5:6). Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matt 5:3).

You must not defer or minimize self-examination. It is the holy exercise of spiritual men, who rightly understand the deceitful wickedness of their own hearts (I Cor 11:28; II Cor 13:5). Every secret thing will soon be exposed before the holy tribunal of the Lord Jesus Christ. Cleanse your hands and purify your hearts from double-minded hypocrisy through critical and sober repentance (Jas 4:8-10). The Lord will lift you up!

Wise men will recognize that the evil within is more deceitful and dangerous to pleasing God than the evil without. While hatred of this world is a good and godly attitude toward the dangerous temptations there, it is the deceitful lusts in your own heart that are your greatest enemy. Constant vigilance with sincere humility before God will save your spirit. Keep your heart with all diligence to reject any lofty thoughts of self that arise (Pr 4:23).

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