It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are in, whether you believe in God or not, you still have a “code of ethics” you live by and judge yourself by. Either you approve of your righteousness or you disapprove and live in guilt.
There was a time in my life I couldn’t even buy a coffee with a five dollar bill because I felt so guilty… I thought that I should be giving the $5 to the poor. I know that is extreme but that is how self-righteous I was. Later God showed be the truth about my righteousness and true righteousness. By faith, through Christ, I have been set free (more on that later).
Here’s the ironic thing… the people who say they do NOT believe in God seem to be the MOST self-righteous. Weird, huh? You’d think that if someone doesn’t believe in God then they wouldn’t care if they were in the “right” or not. Yet, it is ingrained in people, no matter what, to judge themselves. Everyone has a different standard by which they judge themselves but make no mistake, we all live under a law (whether self-imposed or not).
If you believe in God’s law then you’re guilty (we all are guilty and no one has ever kept all of God’s law).
So it seems easier to just ignore it and not believe in God’s law. So people set up laws for themselves. In essence, people become their own gods and judge each other and themselves by their own laws.
Does that solve the problem?
Don’t you see? It doesn’t solve anything. Sure, it may make you “feel” better (you feel “self righteous”, guilt-free, etc). But, it still doesn’t solve the problem… namely, that something is wrong. Something just doesn’t make sense.
Why the need to justify? Why the need to defend? Why the need to approve yourself? Why the need for self-righteousness? Why the need to judge?
Do you see the prison? Can you see the bondage? And you will never be set free from it by your own effort. All your life you will be left to judge yourself and others… left to be your own god and yet not even close to being truly free.
How can a person be free from judgement? Free from self-righteousness? Free from the need to justify?
The answer is in Jesus Christ.
I have found my righteousness in Him. He is my Life. By faith I see that I’m a new creation and I’m no longer under any law.
What does this mean practically? How have I been set free?
By faith everyday I see myself as He sees me. So when I do something that I hate to do (like lose my temper) instead of making an excuse for my behavior or feeling guilt, I simply live in the reality that I’m righteous in Him. Therefore, I boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
You may think this is another “easy way out”. In other words, instead of trying harder to improve myself I’m simply ignoring it “in the name of Christ”.
Well, not if what I’m saying is actually true. I really am righteous in Christ. I really do have His Life as mine. I am one with Him. His love is in my heart. I’m a new creation. Since this is true then I have nothing left to judge. My natural life, that which appears to be, is no longer what defines me. I’m Eternal, united with God through Christ.
This is true freedom.