The Delusion of Self-Righteousness

Based on my sixty-five years of experiencing life and other people, I have come to the conclusion that we all believe that we are right, and that anyone who disagrees with us is wrong.  I have also observed that some people live out their self-righteousness in a nice way, while others live out their self-righteousness in downright evil ways.

We also tend to make our determinations of what is right and what is wrong according to our own preferences, and without regard to other people's preferences.  But problems arise when our preferences are incompatible with other peoples preferences.  It is not just Adolph Hitler whose self-righteousness results in the pain, suffering and death of millions of others.  He may be an extreme example of the worst of humanity, but he is not alone in his evil.  I am not only referring to the other evil dictators of history, but to those who enable the dictators to do their evil deeds.  We see in recent history how the people of Germany, Italy and Japan suffered the consequences of their leaders' and their own delusions of self-righteousness in World War II, and how their evil deeds also had dire consequences on the rest of mankind.

My own delusions of self-righteousness started to dissolve in May of 1976 when I came into contact with God on a personal level.  Several people came into my circle of acquaintances who began to tell me about God and what He had done in their lives.  They were telling me not only 'what the Bible says' about a variety of topics, they were also telling me of how their lives had been changed for the good in a variety of ways.  I have told the details of my own personal conversion experience on other of these web pages, but suffice it to say that when I got up off of my knees after surrendering my life to God through Jesus Christ the process of realigning my paradigm of what is right and what is wrong began in earnest!

Shortly after May 15, 1976, Jesus spoke to my heart and informed me that no one is always right except Him, and no one is always wrong, including Caiaphas.  I had to do some research to find out who Caiaphas was, and found that he was the Jewish High Priest who conspired with other leaders in Israel to put Jesus of Nazareth to death!  A short passage in the Gospel of John tells how this Caiaphas, while conspiring to put Jesus to death, actually spoke a true prophesy!  hmmm  As a result I learned that I should listen to everyone, but not to accept everything I heard, but to ask Jesus to help me to discern what is right from what is wrong.  I even learned that I can ask Him to remind me to turn to Him with every situation for His 'take' on the situation.  My confidence in Him began to grow as my confidence in myself began to ebb.

Then, in 1995 I became aware of a move of God which became known as the Toronto Revival.  I believe that the Toronto Revival can be summed up as God restoring the experiential knowledge of Him and His love to as many people as were able to receive His love.  Over the years millions of people have come from all over the world to experience God and His love at a Christian facility in Toronto, Canada, while many others who heard of this phenomenon actively ignored the good reports which abounded.  Many were changed in a positive way (including me), while others were not.  I came to believe that this is a phenomenon reported in a passage of the Christian Bible known as the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verse 53:

Luke 1:53  He [God] has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent empty away.
The first time that I attended a revival meeting in what was then called the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, I came away with a copy of a book by a man named Guy Chevreaux called "Catch The Fire".  In that book these is the story of a man named Ron, who had a revelation concerning his self-righteousness and God's righteousness.

The story of Ron, as I recall it, is this:  Ron was the supervising pastor of John Arnott, who was the pastor of the Toronto Vineyard Christian Church at the time when that revival began on January 20, 1994.  After that first meeting when God showed up and melted everyone there down with His love, pastor Arnott began to call everyone he knew to tell them what had happened and to invite them to come to the further meeting which were scheduled.  One person John Arnott called was his pastor, Ron.  Ron's response was one of disbelief - "yeah, right."  But Ron began to hear reports from other sources, including newspapers and television reports, and a month later went to Toronto to 'check it out'.  During the first revival meeting which Ron attended he was asked if he also wanted to be prayed for by the prayer team.  The book told that Ron thought if there were an issues in his life which needed to be prayed about, but could not think of any such issues.  But he asked to be prayed for anyway.  Some members of the church prayer team prayed for him, and several hours later he realized that he felt stuck to the floor, and could not move!

The next night he attended the church meeting, and pastor John Arnott prayed, saying simply, "Father, last night's meeting was so good!  Please do that again!"  Immediately Ron said that he began to act like a monkey!  He soon realized that people were looking at him, pointing at him and laughing at him as he continued to act like a monkey!  He said that he tried to hide behind the piano, but then John Arnott pointed at him and said, "Hey everyone.  Look at Ron!  He looks just like a monkey!"

Ron said that he was just dying of embarrassment, and said, "Lord Jesus, why are You doing this to me?"  Jesus then spoke to his heart and said, "Ron, I am trying to bless you, but you are so full of pride and control that I have to deal with that first."  Then end of the story is that Ron said, "I thought that I had leadership skills, but it turned out to be pride and control which God had to remove before He could really use me in His kingdom!"

I suspect that we all have aspects of our lives which we consider to be 'good', but which are really 'not good'.  I have also found that God is happy to show us the true nature of every aspect of our lives if we simply ask Him to do so. [grin]  I have also found that we tend to ignore God's advice for our lives until we have tried everything else and are desperate enough to honestly ask God for help.  The Father George Story is a great example of this 'syndrome'.

But I am convinced that God's intention for each and every of His creatures is to know Him, and the power of Christ's resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, to be conformed to His death so that we can attain to the resurrection of the dead to live for God rather than for ourselves.  The fruits of God's life which He wants to impart and to grow in us are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control.