Self-righteousness lies at the taproot of those who are captured by the same spirit they oppose. Self-righteousness is the attitude that makes one believe and feel that they are more righteous, more holy, and more spiritual than others. It’s an attribute of the flesh. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day had PhDs in it.
And for that reason, our Lord leveled the strongest words against them. You can spot self-righteousness in a person pretty easily. Whenever people are quick to condemn others, but excuse themselves, they are being self-righteous. Whenever they evaluate their mistakes and shortcomings as being “less severe” than that of others, they are being self-righteous. Whenever they are blind to their own flaws, but concern themselves with the flaws of others, they are being self-righteous.
There’s only one Person in the universe who has the right to be self-righteous. And He isn’t.
The Lord Jesus hates self-righteousness, plain and simple. The truth is, we are all unrighteous in ourselves. Our only righteousness is Christ. Who, then, can boast about that?
All told: As the wind of God’s Spirit blows on His body today, may He mercifully keep us from being captured by the same spirit we oppose.
From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author