8 July 2015
The proud and self-righteous always feel that they are not treated as well as they deserve.’ – Leon Morris
There is no room for pride and self-righteousness in the heart and life of a servant leader.
There is no room for pride and self-righteousness in the life of a believer, period
Pride got Lucifer kicked out of heaven (Is 14:12-15), banished Adam and Eve from the Garden (Gen 3:6), and scattered the people into nations and tongues at the tower of Babel (Gen 11:4). Pride never leads to life, only the destruction and downfall of ourselves and others (Prov 16:18). Pride says ‘I want to be God.’
The self-righteous are those that create rules they themselves do not follow, preach but do not practice, love the attention and spotlight their position affords (Matt 23:1-12), set the bar of what is expected just below themselves, and seek to have their outward actions justify them before God and man. In a word, the self-righteous are Pharisees.
It can be easy to look at those descriptions and think ‘Yes! I agree! There is no room for that type of behaviour amongst our team, and I am certainly not any of those things!’ But the truth is, much like how ‘we do not drift toward holiness’ (Keller), we do not drift toward humility and resting in Christ’s imputed righteousness to us. We are naturally bent toward pride and self-righteousness in our flesh and in the way we serve.
There is nothing Spirit-empowered, Christ-exalting, and God-honouring in pride and self-righteousness; because every response of pride and self-righteousness is about self, not others and certainly not about Him. So when you feel the sting of pride and self-righteousness, do not ignore or minimise, but respond. Respond by turning your heart away from self and focusing instead on the One who truly felt the sting of death He did not deserve (Is 53:5), and serve from a grateful thankful heart.