The Curse of Self-Righteousness


Being an American is great.  It seems that lots of people want to be Americans, or at least live here and partake of the benefits of living in America.

But there is a drawback of living in America.  From a Kingdom of God perspective, it is much more difficult to reach people who are satisfied with themselves than it is to reach people who are broken and helpless.

But God has a plan to deal with our self-satisfaction.   It is called  Laissez-faire.  It is wonderfully described in the Bible in Luke chapter 15 in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Luke 15:11  And [Jesus] said, A certain man had two sons.
Luke 15:12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that is coming to me. And he divided his living to them.
Luke 15:13  And not many days afterward, the younger son gathered all together and went away into a far country. And there he wasted his property, living dissolutely.
Luke 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land. And he began to be in want.
Luke 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country. And he sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
Luke 15:16  And he was longing to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, and no one gave to him.
Luke 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father abound in loaves, and I perish with hunger!
Luke 15:18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you
Luke 15:19  and am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.
Luke 15:20  And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Luke 15:21  And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you, and am no more worthy to be called your son.
Luke 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring the best robe and put it on him. And put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet.
Luke 15:23  And bring the fattened calf here and kill it. And let us eat and be merry,
Luke 15:24  for this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:25  And his elder son was in the field. And as he came and drew near the house, he heard music and dancing.
Luke 15:26  And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
Luke 15:27  And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him safe and sound.
Luke 15:28  And he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and entreated him.
Luke 15:29  And answering he said to his father, Lo, these many years I have served you, neither did I transgress your commandment at any time. And yet you never gave me a kid so that I might make merry with my friends.
Luke 15:30  But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you have killed for him the fattened calf.
Luke 15:31  And he said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
Luke 15:32  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.


Please note that the father was apparently financially well set.  He was able to give the younger son his inheritance and still live comfortably with servants.
Please also note that the father let the younger son go astray from him, and to suffer the inevitable consequences.  That is the laissez-faire part of the story.
Please also note that the older son who remained with his father in the father's house did not share his father's heart of love toward the younger son/brother.  The father also let the older son live his life on his own without much in common.  The older son complains that the father never gave him a fatted calf to party with his friends, but he didn't realize that he could have partied with the father anytime!

THE RESULT OF SELF-SATISFACTION:  BLINDNESS

We see in this parable of Jesus that God's plan of 'laissez-faire' produces the results which only 'laissez-faire' can produce - they allow us to cook in our own juices!  We inevitably reap what we sow, and we, being sinners, inevitably sow selfishness, pride and self sufficiency.

America is on the verge of reaping the nasty results of selfishness, pride and self sufficiency.  We are on the brink of economic collapse, and we are under attack by those whose self righteousness and pride are even greater than our own!

We can find good counsel concerning how to break this vicious cycle of reaping and sowing in the Bible, of course.  I refer you to a little passage in the Book of Revelation, chapter 3:

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

I use the King James Version of the Bible because it has a fairly unique feature.  It preserves the distinction between singular and plural in the second person pronouns.  It does not just use the word 'you' for both singular and plural as we do today, it uses 'thee' and 'thy' for the second person singular.

Consequently we can see that the above message from the risen and reigning Lord Jesus Christ is to the 'messenger' of the 'outcalled group' of Christians in Laodicea, not to the entire congregation.

This messenger thinks and says that he or she is rich, is increased with goods, and has need of nothing.  This messenger is mistaken.  This messenger, according to our Lord Jesus is really wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked!

Now we come to the wise counsel of God Himself.  Jesus continues by saying (my paraphrase), "I recommend that you, dear messenger, buy from Me gold tested by fire that thou might be [really] rich; and also I recommend that you buy from Me white clothes so that the shame of thy nakedness might be covered; and I finally recommend that you anoint your eyes with eyesalve so that thou might really see things as they really are rather than as you imagine them to be."

I find it amusing that the King of Kings makes recommendations to this poor, wretched, naked messenger rather than commandments!!  I only find this amusing because I have been there, and have had my high opinions of myself undone by The Almighty telling me the truth about myself, and then kindly recommending that I get myself transformed by His gracious provisions of real gold for my fools gold, white clothing for my filthy rags, and eyesalve to enable me to see and accept the truth.

I hope that you, dear reader, will also be able to benefit from the gracious provision by our loving heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Sprit of the truth about our present condition, His provision of proven remedies for our sad conditions, and His plan to maintain us in harmony with Himself and all other creatures forever and ever in His eternal kingdom!