No it's not that I'm increasingly short of hair. Nor that I weigh roughly the same as him. And contrary to popular opinion it's not that I'm a bombastic bloke who likes getting his own way. It's certainly not that I share his political opinions. Whatever they are today!

It's that I often act as though the best form of defence is attack.

That was what Trump did when he was asked in the US Presidential debate about the latest film clip of him making derogatory remarks about women. He launched into an attack on Bill Clinton. A man who's sexual behaviour clearly leaves a lot to be desired.

It's a well worn tactic in human history. When you are accused of something, point out that what you've done is not as bad as it could have been. Certainly not as bad as they have done. And anyway lots of other people have done that as well.

We do it all the time in arguments.

So to the charge: "You've left the kitchen in a real state again!" We reply with faultless logic: "Well at least I clean my hair out of the shower plug hole!"

The problem is one of self-righteousness. We are constantly trying to justify ourselves by comparing ourselves to others. People we deem to be worse than us.

Jesus told a story to " To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else..." (Luke 18:9) It was to about a religious man whose prayers were dominated by the way that he was better than other people.

We wouldn't be so crass. But self-righteousness is often the default position of the Christian. Sometimes you'd wonder that Jesus had to come and die for us at all, the way that we are so quick to defend ourselves and so slow to admit our sin! It's not that we won't admit to being sinners in general. It's that we won't accept it when someone specifically accuses us of doing something wrong.

And Self-righteousness robs us of joy. Because it makes us defensive, proud and bitter.

The opposite is to admit your faults to God and the people you've offended. To find your righteousness in Christ alone. The one who became sin for us at the cross "....so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is to find joy in the humble acceptance of God's constant and faithful love to you, despite your sin, not because of your righteousness.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to have politicians like that. (Ironically I think that comment might be self-righteous!?!)

1 Comment