Ok, don’t really ask me what I am being self-righteous about because I will probably punch you square in the throat. But I have learned something about my low level anger and frustration this past month, and it is not pretty. Sometimes however, freedom comes when we stare straight into our ugliness, call it what it is and confess it to God.
I have admitted on this blog before that I struggle with self-righteousness. Sometimes I get lost in my self-righteousness and forget that the only righteousness I possess belongs to Jesus. My Jesus-righteousness is the part of me that pleases God, points me to God and allows me to be free of my sin. The Jesus-righteousness is where I want to be hanging out of sure.
However, sometimes I forget about my Jesus-righteousness and a slide into a soup of self-righteousness. I get lost in “I would do that differently, and better.” I paddle around in “I would be able to handle that in such a more mature way.” I do breaststrokes through “Why do they not just do what I tell them to do? It would work out so much better for them.” And because none of those things is actually accurate or God honoring, I dive head first into frustration and anger because no one does what I think they should do, how I think they should do it, and no one realizes how perfectly right I am. (Except if Jesse is reading this then you should know, God says that my way of loading the dishwasher and sorting clothes for the laundry is in fact the absolute right way to do things.)
So what is a self-righteous girl to do? Well it starts with confessing these ugly sins to God and remembering that the humble spirit is God honoring. And letting truth like this wash over me:
Philippians 2: 3-8
Don’t be selfish(also know as self-righteous); don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
I added those parenthesis there, not God, but you get the point. Self-righteousness leads me to bondage not freedom. How do I know that? Because anything I cling to that is not Christ like leads to bondage. Where Jesus is I am really free. Putting my desires first, makes me more important than anything else. Putting others before self leads me to be more like Christ, which allows the self-righteous me to get out of the way so that I can produce fruit of the Spirit (peace, joy, love, gentleness and self-control), vs. fruit of the self-righteous me (anger, frustration, rage, and greed).
My prayer for myself is that I will allow this anger and frustration to be a warning sign in the future. That when I get lost in these emotions I would stop and say, “Lord, I am angry and frustrated, show me where my self-righteous self has taken over.” That I would be brave enough to look that ugly sin in the face and confess it to Jesus. That I would then turn and say, “Consider others better than yourself.” And be filled with freedom.
Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.