Two Kinds of Self-Righteousness

September 5, 2022 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


In our society, little is more despised than someone who is “self-righteous.” No one, it seems, wants to be someone or likes anyone who fits the stereotype of a self-righteous person – proud of their own moral success and judgmental of those who they judge to be morally inferior. And yet, as much as we may despise self-righteousness, we still fall prey to it, often without even knowing it. Self-righteousness, it turns out, is sneaky.

One way that many people have sought to address the scourge of self-righteousness is by dismissing the notion any ultimate righteousness. In this way of thinking, if someone does something you would consider “wrong,” it is excused by calling it “right for them.” Righteousness gets relegated to the realm of personal preference.

But this, too, is its own form of self-righteousness. After all, when we say righteousness is defined by what is “right for me,” we are defining righteousness for ourselves, which, by definition, is self-righteousness.

What Christianity offers is not a righteousness that judges others, but nor is it a righteousness that we create for ourselves. Instead, it is a righteousness that is given freely through Christ. As the apostle Paul writes:

Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Romans 3:22)

The Christian does not self-righteously condemn and judge others because Jesus did not condemn and judge him. Instead, He forgave him. But the Christian also does not make up the rules as he goes, for what matters is not what is right for him, but what is right to Jesus. His righteousness is what the Christian looks to for guidance and for salvation. The only true antidote to self-righteousness, then, is Jesus’ righteousness.

His is a righteousness worth sharing.

Entry filed under: Devotional Thoughts. Tags: , , , , , , .

Contagious Cleanliness Knowing Thyself

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