An interesting issue. Here’s my thinking on it, admittedly logic-based, but I believe, biblical.
–There is zero “righteousness” as defined by the Bible merely on the basis of one’s “self”. In essence, a Christ-follower’s life based on faith in Him, HIS righteousness and -imputing His righteousness- into/onto/over the believer is how God determines we are righteous. Our (self-imagined, or works-based) “righteousness” is… as the Book says, “filthy rags”. “None is righteous, not even one”. Therefore as He defines it “Self”-righteousness is impossible. It is a gift of God.
–There are indeed righteous acts, and in fact believers and non-believers, followers of Jesus and those who don’t give a rip about Him at times act in such a way that God- in accord with His Word in a number of places, would deem such acts righteous. Again, “righteous” by HIS definition. Yet, this does not make the individual in themselves righteous.
I think most people who trot such phrases out are guilty of judging… but that’s another topic 🙂 Errr… how can you be righteous or holy when judging (mis-judging) someone else? Hmmmm.
O.k., so it seems Hitler loved dogs. I expect the Lord appreciates the fact demonized murdering dictators might truly love animals. So…?!! What about the phrase “holier than thou”. Same principle.
Can person “A” considered next to person “B” actually BE more truly “righteous” or live out/walk in “holiness”? Might these attributes of the nature and character of God by the power of God the Holy Spirit cause a greater maturity in the one individual’s life more than in that of the other person? Certainly. Comparing ourselves to others may be useful now and then -but in the end we may be more likely to fall into a vain and even self-deceived attitude considering ourselves “above” or “better than” our neighbor. We do it plenty, and need to repent of such nonsense. Jesus shed an equal amount of blood for ALL.
Jesus is infinitely and absolutely Holier than thou… and/or me!
He was, is and shall be thus, and the exact same thing is true with regard to His Righteousness.
He IS Holiness and Righteousness incarnate, eternally.
Things to consider as we drive and shop with one another, and take out the trash over these holidays 🙂
Things to consider as we move through Advent and approach Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn