There’s a conversation I had just today with a really “good friend.” A friend who’s closer than a brother. Actually, make that closer than a sister. Who looks an awful lot like me.
Perhaps you’ve had a similar conversation with someone THISCLOSE to you recently. Someone, perhaps, much like yourself …
Me: Self, it’s time for a self-righteousness check. You’ve been measuring yourself with others. And um, basically … you need to get over yourself.
Self: But I’m not doing anything wrong. I didn’t say an unkind word or anything. In fact, I even helped this person. And that one over there, too. But this guy here … see, he’s the one who’s not treating me right. He’s done this and this, and he hasn’t even reached out to help me in my time of need.
Me: Self, why are you looking at someone else for how you’re measuring up and what they are or aren’t doing, when you should just be looking up?
Self: [mimicking] “Self, why are you looking at someone else for how you’re measuring up and what they are or aren’t doing, when you should just be looking up?”
Me: Oh, THAT’S really helpful and grown up. I see you haven't left your your childish ways behind. And that perfect Sunday School attendance and your spot in the church choir are realllly helping you out.
Self: But I didn’t do anything. That guy over there was the one who …
Me: And that’s the point. You’re so focused on what someone else is or isn’t doing to or for you, that you’ve completely lost sight of what you are or aren’t doing in the sight of the Lord. What about what He thinks?
Self: Right, right. I know … God is my co-pilot and all. But what about the guy who’s not treating ME right? Is he just gonna get away with that and no one’s gonna call him on it?
Me: Self, as you grow and mature in Christ, you will realize that it’s not about keeping score. It’s not about who’s done you wrong and who you've done right. Leave that to the Lord. Your concern is that you are becoming more and more like Christ. We need to work on there being less of you and more of Him, as His glory is revealed in your life.
Self: Oh. But …
Me: No buts. Just bend your knee. Ask for forgiveness. And please, Self ... get over yourself.
For Further Reading:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
— Luke 18