Having a little extra time this morning, I read an article about the Lord’s prayer about purity as being a designation under Christ, instead of narrowly defined by sexual activity alone (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/worldview/purity-more-saving-sex-marriage). These two articles helped me focus in on something that has been bothering me lately: my own self-righteousness.
I really love being right. It is possibly my greatest distraction from the glory of God as of this point. I love the truth and the sense of justice that has been made available to me under God, but that often takes the form of my own selfishness and trying to take possession of the truth. Being stubborn, I don’t often allow other people the ability to be concurrently right, though God has humbled me in small doses. Because his work is still not complete in me, maybe I can use my sin as an opportunity to grow closer.
The issue with self-righteousness is not the love of the truth, which in itself is holy. The issue here is tying the truth explicitly to oneself, and ignore that God alone is the one who make the difference. Combined with some issues with authority, self-righteousness can be a fiercely isolating force in my life, but if I ask God in prayer how to respond to a situation instead of resting on my laurels, I’d be a lot better off, and so would others. The proof that righteousness is not up to me comes at the point where I am willing to condemn other people who I perceive as a threat to my ability to remain comfortable. This is a trait that being rooted in the flesh, is not glorifying to God.
None of us receive grace on our own, so the solution for this is probably to turn to God as the solution, and ask for help. Asking him for guidance to love the truth but not take possession of it is probably more helpful than insisting in my own way and being surprised when I’m dealing with more unforgiveness over time, as my sin multiplies. Selfish as I am, I’m still framing this question as what it offers for my own personal good, but the fact of the matter is that loving God and seeking his fruit instead myself is for my own good (which loops back to me, but is also about him). If I keep going like I’m going, even with un-exposed sin still brewing in my heart, I’m just going to set myself up to hurt and estrange loved ones, strangers, and family. This kind of selfishness is a threat to God’s kingdom. Sounds like it’s time to pray.
If you follow this blog, expect that I will be talking more about this process in the following days and weeks. I’m going to be looking to God to help me see outside of myself.