12 Things That Usually Accompany a Self-Righteous Spirit

On Sunday I was given the privilege of filling the pulpit while our senior pastor went camping with some of his boys.  Each time I get an opportunity to preach at Calvary Bible Church, I take the next passage in the Sermon on the Mount, and this past week had me in Matthew 7:1-6: the “judge not, lest ye be judged” passage.

While this text is often used as a death blow defense against someone’s moral judgment on our lives, it is obvious from the context that Jesus spoke these words as a weapon not to protect our self-righteousness, but rather to attack it.

One point of the sermon was meant to help us determine when we have a self-righteous spirit, so we can take that sin to the cross, remember that it’s forgiven and lean on God for the grace to repent.  To help us with this exposure, I listed twelve things that usually accompany a self-righteous spirit.  Last week Trevin Wax posted a list of 11 Questions to Discern a Judgmental Heart, so you’ll see a bit of overlap, but there’s enough that’s different to benefit from both.

  1. Seeking to judge the motives of others.
  2. Holding others to your own personal convictions in addition to the standard in the Bible.
  3. Judging people before asking questions and getting the details.
  4. Judging by appearance alone.
  5. Looking for evidences of failure in others before looking for evidences of grace.
  6. A tendency toward being hypercritical and nit-picky.
  7. Delight at finding fault in others.
  8. Disappointment when you don’t find fault in others.
  9. When it comes to others, making mountains out of mole hills (i.e. – exaggerating their issues).
  10. Sensitivity to the sins of others, but blindness to your own.
  11. A failure to receive correction with humility.
  12. A desire to expose the sin, but not to help address it.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

2 responses to “12 Things That Usually Accompany a Self-Righteous Spirit

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