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Know You’re Not

Legalism Weeds Pic

Self-righteousness. It seems to spring up in the church like the weeds in the lawn after the cold of winter breaks. You glance across the yard and see green. You look closer, and there they are, grassy and broadleaf weeds sprouting up everywhere.

Not only is self-righteousness an eyesore right in the middle of Christ’s church, it is not easily uprooted, it steals the light, and it strangles out much needed spiritual growth too.

Self-righteousness is the reckoning of oneself as righteous, others as sinful, and Christ as unnecessary.

In the words of the Pharisee in Luke 18:11, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men.” The self-righteous are spiritually proud. Smug. Self-centered. They are disgusted with the sin of others but not their own. They think the world of their own opinions, perspectives, convictions, strengths, abilities, growth, and accomplishments.

The self-righteous are little kings in little kingdoms with little regard for God and little impact on eternity.

Here is an example…

In Deuteronomy 9:1–12, the disadvantages were stacked against Israel, but God had promised to give his people the promised land. He would go before his people as a consuming fire and subdue his enemies. The land was as good as theirs! But he gives them three clear warnings with one message as they walk toward this tremendous turf:

• Do not say, “It is because of my righteousness…” (9:4)
• It is “Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart…” (9:5)
• The Lord is “Not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness…” (9:6)

God knows something about His people, whether that is Israel or His church. He knows that we have a tendency to think that blessing comes because we deserve it. We are quick to take credit for God’s work of grace. We can think too highly of ourselves. We can see why God would favor us. Weeds.

Truth: God is sovereign, not man. He is righteous, not us. He is King over the nations, we are a drop in the bucket. And God keeps His good and very precious promises to His people, not because of our righteousness, but because of His faithfulness.

Take time today to “pull up some weeds” of self-righteousness in YOUR life. Ask yourself:

• Do you look at the sin of others and thank God that you are not like them? Read Luke 18:9–14.
• Do you think that God has blessed your life because you have made all the right decisions? Read Psalm 32:1, 2 and Matthew 5:3, 4, 5.
• Do you preach more than you practice? Read Matthew 23:1–12.
• Do you practice your righteous deeds for the reward of being seen by others?Read Matthew 6:1.
• Do you have a hard time respecting the decisions that other believers make when it is something you would not do? Read Romans 14:1–12.
• Do you tend to take credit for the good things that happen to you in life? Read James 1:16–17.
• Do you search for the praise of men? Read Galatians 1:10.
• Do you duck from the criticism of others? Read Proverbs 12:1.
• Do you consider your own interests as more important than the interests of others? Read Philippians 2:1–5.

Do you think you are going to the Promised Land because of your righteousness? Do you have it all together? Are you the hero in your story?

Know you’re not.

To enter the fertile, free, forever kingdom of God–humble yourself, confess and forsake your sin, and trust in the promise of God for eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”