Breaking Free From Self-Righteousness

//Breaking Free From Self-Righteousness

Breaking Free From Self-Righteousness

Breaking Free from Self-Righteousness

Most Hollywood depictions of Christianity usually picture a selfrighteous, holier-than-thou, yet hypocritically flawed individual. The problem with such depictions is that… ugh… well, there is no problem because there is more truth there than there is error.

Christians come over as self-righteous because often we are selfrighteous. Think about the last time you lost a few pounds on a diet.   Tell me you didn’t become just a little judgmental about what your friends or family ate, “Do you know how many calories are in that donut?”

Obviously, there is the natural (or fleshly) human nature with which we have to contend, but our faith also teaches us that we are to help others who are struggling with sin. This can lead to our thinking of ourselves as better than others or, at the very least, we can leave that impression.

Jesus addressed this issue in Matthew 7:1-6, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

Jesus tells us, first, that we are imperfect in our judgment; often we judge people harshly. Second, Jesus explains that we are imperfect in our own behavior and are hypocritical to think that we have a divine mandate to find flaws in others. Finally, Jesus says we are imperfect in our assessment of others. I believe verse six does not contain instructions from Jesus but rather is a quote from a self-righteous individual used to illustrate Jesus’ point. Who are we to call others “dogs” or “pigs?” Who are we to judge if someone is “worthy” of the Gospel? In his sermon Jesus affirms that only God has earned the right to judge others in this fashion.

How then do we approach friends and loved ones in sin without being or seeming self-righteous? I have come to believe that only a healthy understanding of God’s grace and the basis of our standing before him can we even begin to approach others.

Dear Christian, you are saved not because you are smart or good, but because God chose to save you anyway because of your faith in Jesus. Yes, your past sins are forgiven and God is helping your grow and work through your present sins, but you are still a sinner—undeserving of his goodness.

We can approach others only with this understanding and attitude. We are fellow-strugglers. We must introduce others to the only hope for all humanity – Jesus Christ.

Blessings, Joey

By | 2023-08-05T23:37:32-06:00 August 5th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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