Monday, March 26, 2012

The Danger of Becoming Self-Righteous



 In writing to the Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul highlighted a danger we all need to avoid if we are to be successful in seeking first God’s righteousness. Speaking of his fellow Jews, Paul said: “I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge; for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” (Rom. 10:2, 3) According to Paul, those worshippers did not understand the righteousness of God because they were too busy trying to establish their own righteousness.

 One way we could fall into this trap is by viewing our service to God as a competition, comparing ourselves to others. This attitude could easily lead us to become overconfident as to our abilities. But, really, if we were to act that way, we would be forgetting Jehovah’s righteousness. (Gal. 6:3, 4) The correct motive for doing the right thing is our love for Jehovah. Any attempts to prove our own righteousness could invalidate our claim to love him.—Read Luke 16:15.

 Jesus was concerned about those “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and who considered the rest as nothing.” He addressed the problem of self-righteousness by relating this illustration: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and began to pray these things to himself, ‘O God, I thank you I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give the tenth of all things I acquire.’ But the tax collector standing at a distance was not willing even to raise his eyes heavenward, but kept beating his breast, saying, ‘O God, be gracious to me a sinner.’” Jesus concluded by saying: “I tell you, This man went down to his home proved more righteous than that man; because everyone that exalts himself will be humiliated, but he that humbles himself will be exalted.”—Luke 18:9-14.

Why not check the Scriptures here?





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Christian view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, absolute truth, beneficial for teaching and disciplining mankind.