Self-righteousness is rampant in our churches. Pews are packed every week with Pharisees, who think they are doing everything right. Scripture, however, paints a woefully different picture. Far from thinking, we have arrived or that we are superior to others, we should see a need for and dependence on the righteousness of Christ.
Instead of raising our spiritual noses at those struggling with sin, we should humbly bow before the Savior knowing we too are sinners saved by God’s grace. Instead of thinking of ourselves as self-righteous, we should thank and praise God for sending His Son to die for our sin.
Even though we should humble ourselves before our Savior, we often don’t. We have a tendency to act like we are the ones who make ourselves righteous by our own efforts, instead of relying on Christ’s work. When we rely on our own efforts we acting self-righteous. We can fall into self-righteousness without even knowing it.
In an effort to keep us out of the trap and create self-awareness here are 11 characteristics of the self-righteous adapted from Paul Tripp’s book, Dangerous Calling.
11 Characteristics of The Self-Righteous
1. They do not see their walk with God as a community project.
2. They do not work well with others.
3. They consistently believe they are right and know best.
4. They are resistant to change.
5. They do not respond well when reminded they need to change.
6. They do not desire others exhortation or admonition, even getting angry at times.
7. They are not patient with those who mess up, struggle with sin or have lost their way.
8. They do not deal well with opposition or accusations.
9. They will consistently wonder why God has singled them out for difficulty.
10. They do not see a need to admit or confess their sin.
11. They consistently point out the sin of others with an air of superiority.
Question for Reflection
- Do your actions or attitudes reflect any of these characteristics?
Characteristics in post adapted from Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling, 73-74.