“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Jesus
We live in a culture of “self-righteous indignation”. Self-righteous indignation goes by the name of political correctness today. So often those that strive for political correctness elevate themselves above those that think differently. They exalt themselves for being more “evolved”, tolerant, understanding, and aware than others. As Jesus said about the the pharisee; “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” If we exalt ourselves we will be humbled, period. That is a promise to those that think more highly of themselves than they ought.
Self-righteousness is not limited to the religious among us. It comes and many forms and is just as off putting no matter the motivation behind it. When one stands aloof, and looks with disdain on those with differing opinions, philosophies, and religions they do not create an environment for change. They create an environment of distrust.
Self-righteous indignation is ugly. It is harmful. It is debilitating. It is counter productive. It doesn’t mend fences, it builds walls. It is an affront to all those that come up against it. If people want to see a change in culture, it has to start with the individual. That change will come when we begin to see ourselves in as much need of change as those we want to see changed. It will come by entering into a completely different cultural mindset.
To make the change, one needs to follow the one that leads the way to “righteousness”, not “self-righteousness. As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthian church; “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Having the mind of Christ is what will truly make a difference.
Change comes when one moves away from being a “natural” person, and moves toward Jesus. When one moves toward Jesus, they are moving away from self, and moving toward righteousness. It’s time to move in the right direction and create a true cultural shift.
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman