Self-Righteousness: A Pillar of Unbelief

Often the charge is levied at religious people (in America it’s Christians since it is, on the surface, the prevalent faith) that they are self-righteous prigs who like nothing better than to impose their morality on everyone else and sapping the “fun” of out of everything. Sometimes the accusation is justified albeit for the wrong reasons.

It’s somewhat comical to watch religious people lob this label on one another. Among Christians much of this brotherly bickering could be curtailed with a cursory look at Romans 14, but I digress.

Currently reading Gene Edward Veith’s, “Loving God with All Your Mind” and are finding it to be a stimulating read.

In one of the chapters he talks about self-righteousness and the way he explains it shed some light on the fact that this disease is not limited to religious folk.

Veith writes,

The most dangerous illusion of them all is self-righteousness. This is the true barrier to Jesus Christ. All rejection of God’s grace takes this form. Those who refuse the free forgiveness of God through Christ do so because they do not see themselves as needing that forgiveness. They do no admit that they are sinners. They deny that they are desperately lost.

God’s Law in its purity works not only to shape society and to show us how we are to live, but also reveals our sinfulness and awakens in us our need of a Savior (Romans 7, Galatians 3).

And yet we try to convince ourselves, even in the midst of our sins, that we are basically good, in fact better than most people. We justify ourselves, and in our complacency and self-sufficient pride we shut out the grace of God.

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3 Responses to Self-Righteousness: A Pillar of Unbelief

  1. Timm says:

    Not self-righteous, but loving.

    If I found a great place to walk my dog, I’d tell all my friends with dogs about it, so that they could enjoy my discovery as well.

    If I found a restaurant the serves the best steak in town, I’d tell all my steak-loving friends about it so that they could enjoy the great steak.

    Well, I’ve found a God who was willing to save my soul from the punishment that I deserve. Now I tell all my friends with lost souls about it as well. I want them to experience the same joy I will experience when I get to Heaven. I don’t do it out of self righteousness. I do it out of love.

  2. Laz says:

    Timm,
    We both know the love of Christ compels us to tell others about Him. We cannot control the fact that there are those who mistakenly see it as self-righteousness on our part.

    How else can the unregenerate see it?

  3. Timm says:

    Agreed.

    The only solution to the problem I’ve been able to find is to simply allow some people to believe I’m self-righteous. There is no convincing them otherwise. I trust the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts, and hopefully they will eventually see the truth. The Gospel message is an offensive one. It’s human nature for those who hear it to justify their sin by vilifying me.

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