We need a sense of urgency in binding up our self-righteousness as true righteousness does not come from self. Self-righteousness is tantamount to the spray-can of Off that repels mosquitos, only it is those who walk with us along the streets of the world who are repelled.
The key phrase in self-righteousness is self; as that is where it comes from. When we are self-righteous we become our own deity replete with superficial holiness that is in reality un-holiness to the ultimate degree. Self-righteousness goes no deeper than our own minds and egos, while true righteousness is infinite and eternal. Self-righteousness is worldly and temporal and only serves to puff us up until we burst like an over-inflated balloon. When that balloon does burst the rubber shrapnel may injure those in our proximity but analogously it may lead to our own growth and healing.
The question that begs an answer is: Who or what makes us self-righteous? The answer to that question is we and our culture makes us that way. We live in a self-righteous, self-centered, self-absorbed world that is all about “me.” We use phrases like “it works for me” or “it doesn’t work for me.” We ask the question “what’s in it for me?” You are probably wondering “how is reading this article going to benefit me?”
You are nobody. You suck. You’re too busy getting off on the aroma of your own hind-quarters where you keep your head safely stored to care about anyone else. After all, it’s all about you!
Hey…I suck too! I’m nobody and I’ve cared far too much about my own selfish self-interests. But, I’m learning and growing and so will you! Yes, I’m learning to disconnect the word “self” from the word “righteousness” and like you I am a work in progress.
Righteousness comes only from God through Jesus Christ. We will never do enough on our own to be righteous enough. It doesn’t matter how highly we think of ourselves, how self-confidant we are, or how much we give to charity. We will never, ever, be righteous on our own.
We are but specks of dust but we are truly loved. It is the love that bled on a cross that makes us righteous and free. Self-righteousness leaves us eternally dead, but true righteousness gives us life eternal. There is no religiosity in righteousness as there is no set of actions or ceremonial maneuvers that we can carry out to achieve it. There is no man-made ritual or living human being that can sprinkle something on our heads that will make us righteous or eternal.
Only the blood of Jesus can make us righteous. And unlike self-righteousness, righteousness is born in humility. If you are humble enough to admit that you are a sinner who needs the saving grace of He who was fully man and is fully God; then you are righteous indeed, my friend!