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!