Self-righteousness: A Destructive Force

One of the most destructive forces on earth is self-righteousness. I daresay that self-righteousness has turned more people away from righteousness than any other vice. You’ve no doubt encountered it along the way: the holier-than-thou, hypocritically pious and smug expression of someone who feels that his beliefs, actions or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.

Self-righteousness masquerades as good and delivers a walloping punch. He who is self-righteous rubs in his victories, oozes condescension and professes love but secretly disdains. Rather than lifting up, helping and encouraging others, self-righteous blinds its owner to the delicate openings in those around him. Heavy-handedness replaces the light touch and the delicate sprouts of the wonderful things to come are crushed and potentially lost.

In righteousness there is no concern for self. There is the realization that fulfillment comes as others are helped to their fulfillment. Vision is restored and the righteous man sees through the facades and charades of others but does all he can to bring them to the point of releasing what no longer fits, without them knowing or suffering unnecessarily. Righteousness is the quality of expression that says quietly, “I can, so can you” rather than “I did, now I’m better than you.”

As you make improvements in your life you are wise to consume regular doses of the antidote to self-righteousness: humility. Doing the right thing is rarely the easiest approach, and in the world the way it is it takes something to hew consistently to the line of righteousness. Be thankful for the victories you establish in your living but don’t gloat and don’t lord them over others.  Remember always: “In joy not over-joyed, in sorrow not dejected.”

Rally not against self-righteousness, just as you would adhere to the admonishment “resist not evil.” Instead, look to do the right thing for the sake of being right, no matter what. And while you’re at it, have a fantastic day!

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6 Responses to Self-righteousness: A Destructive Force

  1. Brad says:

    Thanks for pointing out the difference here – too often self rightousness overtakes rightousness.
    I find that when I’m attentive, a subtle shift to my heart often provides a clear path to the right decision, where as the ego desires to be filled by self rightousness thus self concerning choices – it’s just a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.

  2. Coco says:

    Great post. These are the subjects ( along with yesterday’s) that I love to understand, explore and see how I can relate it to my life.
    There is so much information on the Internet but these are really the pertinent subjects that create a foundation for a fulfilling life, discovering how people are supposed to take care of the Earth. I want my life to have meaning but not just any, the meaning it was intended for.
    Thanks Gregg.

  3. Mac says:

    Great post . . .love this reminder: In righteousness there is no concern for self.

    Thank you

  4. Lydia says:

    Your words, “Rather than lifting up, helping and encouraging others, self-righteous blinds its owner to the delicate openings in those around him. Heavy-handedness replaces the light touch and the delicate sprouts of the wonderful things to come are crushed and potentially lost.” are poetic and moving. Your summation of this poignant reality is a cue to examine what the results of this conventional behavior is.
    Living my life not only blinded to the magic that is trying to progress but in fact preventing it, is something to not just think about but really scrutinize.

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