Self-Righteousness: The Silent Killer
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God.” – Luke 11:42
Growing up in a pastor’s home makes self-righteousness one of the easiest silent sins that a pastor’s kid can come by. It’s deadly. It’s a killer.
A few weeks ago in our small group, we went around the room sharing with each other what Christ saved us from–what our life was like before we came to Christ, and how it is different after coming to saving faith in Him. My testimony is one of those that usually starts out like this:
“I grew up in a Christian home and was saved at a very early age. And there’s not really a whole lot of bad stuff you can do when you’re 7.”
That’s how I used to think about my testimony. I even verbalized it that way on many occasions. But it was in that moment of sharing with my small group that the light came on. The Lord began to reveal to me the depth of my depravity in terms of self-righteousness. And He showed me that I must consistently fight this beast within.
As a kid, I was so good at pointing the finger at other people (mostly figuratively and internally, but I had my moments) that I was oblivious to the four bloody fingers dripping of self-righteousness that were pointing right back at me. I was the kind of person that Christ constantly referred to as the “hypocrite.” I was a Pharisee of a new day. Not the kind that wore long robes and turbans. No, my attire was more pristine, consisting of tight crotch-hugging jeans, salmon-colored Disney t-shirts three sizes too large, and an immovable hair-sprayed due with the Zack Morris wave providing a wall of protection around my skull.
Religiosity and pharisaism was my deal. It was everything to me. I snubbed the down-and-out and less fortunate. I secretly criticized the “sinner” and thanked God that I was not like them. And yet, the whole time I was building up walls between myself and God. I had complete disregard for justice and the love of God. So much so that I had blinded myself to the blackness on the inside. I was just as wicked … maybe more than those I considered to be far from God.
But thanks to the incredible grace of God, I am not what I used to be. Though the struggle of pharisaism is constant and continuous, I am grateful for His grace that is forever faithful, forever constant, and forever jealous for my love, affection and solidarity.
Christ has redeemed me from self-righteousness. What has He redeemed you from?