“The sin that shocks God is the thing which is highly esteemed among men — self-realization, pride, my right to myself.”
- Oswald Chambers
How does our own self-righteousness determine how we treat others? Self-righteousness is the gateway to all sorts of repulsive behavior: hatred, jealousy, animosity, anger, resentment, self-centeredness, meanness, self-satisfaction, exclusivity and most dangerous of all, self-deception that is born in pride.
I think this is why we find in Scripture that God despises pride. It deceives man into doing all sorts of evil, and worse, it is the one thing that keeps man from following Jesus Christ: For a God who dies is the antithesis of pride. Spurgeon said it this way, “The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation.”
Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good — above all, that we are better than someone else — I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but the devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is that, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether…Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.
- C.S. Lewis