There are things that are bad, and then there is Self-Righteousness. It’s a level beyond bad because it’s a self-deception that puts everything at risk. To be really pointed, self-righteousness is unhealthy for anyone’s eternity
In Romans 3:9-20 Paul reveals One Self-Deception That Puts Everything At Risk – Self-Righteousness!
Here’s why it’s so risky…
1. It makes me a Law Maker instead of a Relationship Builder
Self-righteousness replaces God’s moral laws with our self-made laws. In order for us to judge ourselves as worthy, ok, good, better, qualified, or righteous we’d need something to measure ourselves by – that’s our self-made laws. God doesn’t care for our self-made laws. Our self-made laws are not helping us to engage God relationally. Instead, our laws are driving us away from God.
2. It blinds me to my own reality
In Romans 3:10-18 Paul shows us that we are not qualified to create moral laws, we’re not able to distinguish between right and wrong, and when given the opportunity we have a tendency to reject God.
Since it’s impossible for me to please God under the Old Covenant Law (namely, the 10 Commandments) I’m on much shakier ground trying to please Him according to my own laws. Self-righteousness, pride, and any attitude or behaviour that causes me to set myself apart from others, making me think I’m somehow better or more worthy, is akin to a post called, “The Ballad of Blind Rick’s Eternal Soul.”
I need to be intentionally relational and humble in order to give God what He wants – personal engagement with Him based on faith and friendship. I don’t have a chance without humility and a really healthy fear of God.
Here’s what you can do to reduce the risk…
1. Fear God
Fearing God is very healthy, even as a Believer. As long as I fear God it will be harder for me to fall into the “God is love” trap, justifying my sinful behaviour because I think that God will simply love and forgive me unconditionally. God sure does love and forgive me, but if my lifestyle reflects the Old Testament passage that Paul quoted, I’m a dead man. Oh boy, God help me!
2. Stay humble
I can’t let my position as a pastor lead me to think that I’m better or above anyone! You can’t let your position mess around with your self-perception, either. We are equal – equally sinful, equally in need of grace, and equally dependant on mercy for all of the days of our lives.
3. Stay connected
We are dependant on God, but lets not forget how much we rely on each other, too. As Believers we are interdependent, in constant need of each other’s personal engagement (as equals) while we encourage one another to engage with God personally.
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