When we take pride in our own righteous behavior, we need to keep our rules in perspective. It is important to realize that, unfortunately, they are not necessarily God’s rules but our derivatives of what we think of as being God’s rules. When we believe our righteous living will give us a higher standing before God, it becomes self-righteousness. When we are “confident in our own righteousness” or “trust in” our own righteousness to justify us before God, we risk making the mistake of demeaning others who do not live our way. This leads not to God but to a distorted and judgmental perspective.
Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.
I will examine my own perception of whose behavior is and whose behavior is not acceptable to God. How objective am I? Who are those I judge?
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
The hardest people to reach with the love of God are not the bad people. They know they are bad. They have no defense. The hardest ones to win for God are the self-righteous people.
Charles L. Allen
When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person’s life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.”
Shannon L. Alder
Self righteousness belongs to the narrow-minded.