As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
How are you stacking up to the model Jesus set?
A subtle device of the devil is to get you focused on all of the great things you do. You quote Scripture, but do you actually believe what they say? No matter how wonderful you may think you are, all of your righteousness is as filthy rags.
Isaiah 64:6 We are all messed up like a person compromised with impurity; even all our right efforts are like soiled rags. We’re drying up like a leaf in autumn and are blown away by wrongdoing. (The Voice)
The other strategy the devil uses is help you identify someone “you think” is not doing as well as you. You compare yourself with them and find yourself saying “At least I don’t do…” Then you feel even more proud of who you are. Does that remind you of someone you’ve read about in the Bible?
Luke 18:10-13 “Once there were two men who went into the temple to pray. One was a proud religious leader, the other a despised tax collector. The religious leader stood apart from the others and prayed, ‘How I thank you, O God, that I’m not wicked like everyone else. They’re cheaters, swindlers, and crooks—like that tax collector over there. God, you know that I never cheat or commit adultery; I fast from food twice a week and I give you a tenth of all I make.’ “The tax collector stood off alone in the corner, away from the Holy Place, and covered his face in his hands, feeling that he was unworthy to even look up to God. Beating his breast, he sobbed with brokenness and tears saying, ‘God, please, in your mercy and because of the blood sacrifice, forgive me, for I am nothing but the most miserable of all sinners!’ (The Passion Translation)
The only legitimate comparison you can make is between you and Jesus. Those differences are the only ones that mean anything. Those are the differences you want identified so you can allow God to make you better.
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father forgive me for times when I was pious. The only time I want to feel good about myself is when You have identified a reason for me to. I am sorry for the times I made comparisons of my strengths to the flaws of others. I will not make excuses for it, I just repent. I never thought to compare my flaws to their strengths. Or better yet, I never thought to compare myself to Jesus. I now know I can feel good about me because You love me. I can feel good about me because You shaped me, equipped me and called me. I am special in Your eyes. I don’t need self-confidence I need God-confidence. I can’t see myself as You see me by comparing myself to others. I can only get that by drawing closer to You…