Self-Righteous? Me?!?

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I was self-righteous. 

For many years I lived in my own righteousness.  I felt if I kept myself pure then God would love me more.  And I worked very hard at keeping myself pure.  Of course, I didn’t succeed.  No one can.  But at least I was trying harder than you!  (Please read with dripping sarcasm.)

I had my list of sins, my lists of Do Nots.  They made sense to me, probably not to you.  But I was comfortable in my standing before God, with my list in hand.

And I was happy to share my list with you.  But please, don’t share yours with me.  Yours may not come up to snuff.  Or worse yet, your rules may look better than mine, and then I’d have to revamp mine to look better than yours.  Because really, that’s what it was all about…looking better than you.

Then one day…my world fell apart.  I was exposed.  It became obvious to all who knew us, we were just like them, maybe worse.  We had issues.  Our lives may have looked good on the outside, for a while, but a terrible evil was dwelling within and it had become apparent. 

Self-righteousness.

I remember hearing my brother-in-law say once that he knew the depth of his own depravity and he wasn’t in any place to tell anyone else how to live.  At the time I wondered what in the world he had done.  I’m relieved to say now, it doesn’t matter. 

Whatever he has done…whatever I have done…whatever ANY of us have done…we can be right before Him.

And thankfully, our righteousness is not based upon our own good works…or our doctrines lining up just right…or the denomination we attend…or do not attend…or the list of rules we choose to keep…or anything…other than Him.

Our righteousness is based in Him.

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

~Isaiah 64:6

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
~Isaiah 53:6

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life–giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. ~Romans 8:1-4

He is so rich in kindness that He purchased our freedom
Through the blood of His Son,
And our sins are forgiven. 

~Ephesians 1:7

For by grace you are saved through faith,
And this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;
It is not from works, so that no one can boast.

~Ephesians 2:8

If you are holding onto anything in hopes of a “better standing” before God.  Don’t. 

Give it up. 
It’s all rubbish…filthy rags.

Only in Him do we stand.

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand. 
All other ground is sinking sand.

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15 responses »

  1. we all have issues, the difference is the ones who will leave them at HIS feet, and those who won’t. Believing that the good work HE has begun in us HE will bring to completion. This does not mean that things won’t be painful at times, and that there will be times that repercussions are in order from my own direct disobedience.

    Good thoughts here, self-righteousness is a biggie, and full of pride. the human race is plagued with it

  2. This is such a HUGE lesson to learn. Realizing that we are totally dependent on the work of the Christ and not in any way, shape, or form to our own efforts is immensely freeing.

    …worth a glass of wine if you ask me.

  3. As your post, and Bible references, say for a Christ Follower righteousness can never be derived from your own judgement of your actions. Only your God can judge if you have been following the right way, his way.

    “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”

    My perception is that the question for Christ Followers is have they given themselves completely to God. Since they can never know the answer, until their judgement day, all they can do is demonstrate, by all their thoughts and actions, that they have lived using the God’s Holy Spirit as their guide.

    I don’t believe in God. I do believe we all need to find something that will lead us to the right way to live. I don’t have one guide, as you do. I guess you could say experience is my guide. I hope I learn from my own, and by observing others.

    Neither one of us can know how we will be judged, you by God, me by life and future generations.

  4. We do all have issues. Amen, Darla! But many of us have chosen not to see them…classic denial. We tend to prop ourselves up with “good works” or medicate ourselves through drugs, sex and alcohol so we don’t have to think about them. One looks more “right” than the other, but all are detrimental to us learning what true love is about: God’s sacrifice to take away our sins. I’m only now realizing, just because I kept myself from the “bad things” in an effort to “look good”…it was all smoke and mirrors. All we like sheep have gone astray…not some…ALL…

    Okay…preaching…sorry! So yeah, at the feet of Jesus is where we need to be…in a lowly position of kneeling before the One who is perfect in holiness and truth. Can’t seem to get off the soapbox — I’m loving my Jesus tonight…amazing work He will do in us if we’ll just bow the knee before Him. Love you, Princess! 😉

    It is worth a glass of wine! I’ll take white, if you have it, Bad!! Huge lesson…I’m just sorry it’s taken me almost 50 years to learn! But better late than never, right? 😉

    Hey, Roxx! Thank you for the kudos! No problem with me. I’ll be happy to return the favor…looks like you’re saying some good things. 🙂 Glad to have you here.

    Hey there, Ed. I believe you’re right. Only through our thoughts and actions, through the Holy Spirit’s guide, are we able to know if we’ve truly given ourselves completely to Him. And we will be judged at the end of days for what we have done in the flesh. The difference in our understanding of judgment is that the Christian has been promised, through the gift of salvation, that his condemnation is gone. I believe God sees all of us either In His Son…or not. And that covering of Christ’s sacrifice is the only difference between me and you. I believe I’m covered through Jesus’ blood. You don’t believe you need to be. (Did I state your position correctly?)

    But yeah, neither of us knows how we will be judged when everything is brought to the light, actually through the fire, for the Christian:

    For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire. ~1 Corinthians 3:11-15

    I do hope some of the ‘works” I’ve done will make it through the fire, but really, the point of this post…probably the ones I think are “good” are fairly worthless, if I did them on my own accord and not by the Spirit’s prodding.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Ed. I enjoy reading your thoughts whenever I see you around blogland. 🙂

  5. It is one of the most important (and sometimes challenging!!) things to remember as a christian I find. It is that delicate balance. I don’t want to undo everything Jesus has done by claiming to be a hopeless sinner (which without Him I am) but I must also remember that any sin which I consider to be the worst type of wrong in the world is no different to any moment of pride or envy or any other ‘small sin; which I tend to be lenient with.

    It is good to remember daily. We are all the same, only Christ in us makes the difference, only He makes us righteous before God.

    I love how we keep stumbling on the same verses, I was listening to a sermon last night about these verses and read them this morning:)

  6. Thanks, Roxx! 😉

    Hmmm…you don’t like my soapbox, Darla? 😕 Usually you’re in the “amen” corner. Thankfully! 😀

    Hey, Rain! You said: I must also remember that any sin which I consider to be the worst type of wrong in the world is no different to any moment of pride or envy or any other ’small sin; which I tend to be lenient with.

    Amen! We do tend to ‘rank’ sin when scripture tells us if we’ve committed one we’ve broken them all. Mr. Bad up there ^^^ says the big sins are the ones you commit while the small ones are the ones I commit. Sad, but it is the way we think. If we could begin to see eachother through His eyes and stop seeing ourselves as better than anyone else.

    Keep stumbling on the same verses?? Great minds and all, you know? 😉 (hee-hee)

  7. We all have issues…LOL seems to be a continued theme here…. 😉
    I agree with you that many of us choose not to see our sins, that is what the body is for. God will use any resource or person needed to speak directly to us until we do listen. There are very few people who God uses to actually get through to me, that I am willing to listen to, and that I consider spiritual mentors. It has taken alot of time to reach that place….but when they talk, if they talk, I listen.

    “Whatever he has done…whatever I have done…whatever ANY of us have done…we can be right before Him.”

    AMEN!!! As soon as we confess it and turn completely away to look Him full in the face… 🙂

    i love that everything was taken at the cross, so why do I struggle and continue in my sin once it has been exposed? Romans 6:1-2 is huge for me…”Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Not the preferred thing to do…He is quick to jerk my chain when I stray, it is something I pray for daily to not stray from this narrow road I am on with Him. I think, how could I, having been delivered from sin’s penalty, and an eternity in hell, cleansed from the defilement of sin, go back into a cesspool of depravity? Knowing what Christ did?

    It breaks me every time, quickly, to full repentance which then brings restoration. Continuing to live in sin because it is has been cleansed is not an option…and something I pray to be continually sensitive to. We are a new creation, yes we will still sin, but now instead of wallowing in it like I once did, I hate it, turn from it and ask to be delivered from it.

  8. Hey, Debs! Sometimes, I’m broken quickly. Other times, not so much. I suppose it depends upon the “stronghold” in my flesh. Some things are easier for me than others, and we’re all as different in what “gets” to us as we are people on this planet. Thank God, He works with us individually and in His time.

    Letting Him do the work in each of us is key for me. I think I’m learning, I hope I’m learning (through Celebrate Recovery) that I can’t fix anyone, and it’s not my job to try and fix anyone. I can support, bear burdens, pray, exhort, help someone “see”…but ultimately, it’s all between them and God…me and God…you and God. You know???

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;

    That part of the Serenity Prayer is becoming more and more real to me with each passing day. I’m trusting in Him…in the moment by moment process of living in Him.

    Love you, Debs!

  9. Yeah, I agree, God is the only one who can and will fix someone…the body has a huge responsibility and plays a big role in eachothers lives as well…I count on that…. 🙂

  10. I agree, Debs. We do have a responsibility to one another. And it’s a beautiful thing when we do it the way we’ve been told…speaking the truth in love…tends to break the rebellious spirit. Thank you for loving me. 😉

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