Self-righteousness is a dangerous trap to fall into. Satan tries to get us to believe that we are not as bad as God’s word and our conscience show us. We love to compare ourselves to others, becoming the ultimate plank-eye. We have x-ray vision that allows us to find the speck in our brother’s eye and have become immune to the plank in ours. The Bible has a remedy for this:
“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.” (Proverbs 16:2)
One of the spiritual casualties of self-righteousness is our faith. Instead of us having faith in a faithful God, we slowly and steadily slide into trusting our own actions. In order to justify those actions, we lower our standards from God’s to ours. The Bible explains:
“Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?” (Proverbs 20:6)
Isn’t that something? This phenomenon is present in American Christendom. The large majority of Christians in America believe themselves spiritually mature, and yet there is a shortage of faithful fruit.
This has to stop, and it needs to begin with me. It needs to begin with you. If we are to see revival come to America, we know it must start in its churches. If churches are going to be revived, then all Christians need to take a fresh look at the standards by which we measure ourselves. The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church against such foolishness:
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Paul warns us that we not dare compare ourselves with the self-righteous, especially if we are our own standard. However, we must be careful to not apply some false humility and wear our badges of humility proudly. We must strike a balance and it is the Lord who owns the scales.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our example of how to live a righteous life. We do so by serving others, by studying and meditating on God’s Word, and by praying and listening to God. The antidote to self-righteousness is righteousness, the kind that comes by the grace of God:
“The Lord shall judge the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me.” (Psalm 7:8)
Beloved, my opinion of me carries no weight in heaven. It is the Lord that weighs my spirits our verse from Proverbs tells us. Righteousness is not attained by using my own weights and measures. My standards are substandard and like filthy rags.
Attaining biblical righteousness is not some complicated theological principle that only the most learned Bible scholars can understand. It is quite simple; however, it is not easy. In fact, it can be very difficult because it means surrendering the rights to myself and bowing to the supremacy of Christ through the Holy Spirit. Paul gives us the formula:
“This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16)
Well Brother Dave, that doesn’t seem so hard. Read it again. Your conscience cannot have offense towards God or man. That means I cannot blame anything I’ve done or that has happened to me on God or man.
Of course God may allow things to happen in my life that brings me to the end of myself. Or someone might do me harm that brings me to a point where I have to rely on God’s grace to get through it. Nevertheless, I must not take offense or do anything that is an offense to God or to others. That is a very high standard to set for yourself.
As long as self-righteousness reigns in my spirit, my spirit will be crippled. If I want to reach the level of spiritual health and maturity that Christ desires for me, I will have to surrender myself to His will.
I have to be pure in His eyes…
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers