When Love is Mistaken for Self Rightiousness
I have found that as I jounney on through my Christian walk , as more and more truths are revealed to me through the scriptures I feel the need and desire to share them with others. A problem that I sometimes come accross is that when I realize a fault in my life and correct it , out of love for others , I feel the urge to point it out when I see a fellow Christian stumbling in the same offence. It is clear that they do not see it as an offence just as I previously did not recognise it as a sin. It hurts to see that person in their ignorance making a mistake that I myself had already made and suffered the concequences of. The problem is that when I attempt to help the person and keep him from stumbling , the first response from that person is almost always something like: "Who are you to judge me! Who do you think you are? Do you think that you are better than me?" Christians should be willing and able to not only accept but also give instuction or correction to others. Unfortunately it seems that when someone actually speaks out against sin they are told to be quiet and mind their own buisness. Is this the way Christians are to act? Why can't Christians accept that most of the time when a rebuke is given it is out of love for their own benefit. People make mistaks. Why can't we have an attitude of love so that we can share our mistakes with each other and keep each othe from sin without being accused of self rightiousness? I appreciate it very much when a sin is pointed out to me. It helps to know that there are others watching out for and showing concern for me. Concerned enough to say "You are doing wrong , you should not do that." Not only am I saved from sinning , I am saved from the results of that sin as well. If we help each other and learn to accept the help of others who knows how much we can grow in Christ!
When Self Rightiousness is Mistaken for Love
What rightiousness is there in good works if they are not done with good motives? Good works are nothing (even evil) if they are not done cheerfully and willingly out of a spirit of genuine love. A good heart will produce good works instinctively. Good works will not produce a good heart. In fact , many people wickedly use good works as a way to hide a wicked heart. Many people find it easier to change their outward actions and look rightious rather than changing the heart and actually being made rightious (by doing acts of self rightiousness). My Bible study teacher and friend gave a good example of this. He noticed that many times churches will set aside a time for good works to be done rather than having a desire that causes good works to be done all the time. Churches give food baskets to the needy around Christmas but neglect them the rest of the year. If it is good to give food to the poor then why only give it at certain times of the year? This is not love , but rather it is an act of self rightiousness. If it was the churches desire for the poor to have food they would make it a prioraty to give all the time. He gave another example of a church having a banquet to honour the elderly in the church. Why does a day need to be set aside for this? Why cant we honour them every day by showing respect for the wisdom that they have aquired over the years , by letting them teach the young men and women in the church , by young christians submitting to the wisdom that the elderly can give. It is an insulting act of self rightiousness to set aside just a day to show honour to the elderly rather than doing what is right and showing honour at all times. People find it easier do do their good works so they can pat themselves on the back and feal good about themselves (a form of pride) instead of changing their heart so that they instinctively and automatically do what is good all the time. I know this does not apply to everyone but look inside yourself at your true motives to see if this describes you. If it does you need to repent and seek a heart that will do things out of true love. Start with the heart and genuine good works will follow. God will change the heart of those that diligently seek change.