Rarely does something make me more angry than when someone is trying to prove a point by pointing out all the things that another person did wrong. I feel my shoulders lean in like a guard on the line ready to protect the quarterback, my jaw sets, and a whole set of vocabulary fills my mouth, waiting to call out what I “really” think of the other person.
It makes me mad because I am hurt. The sense of not being valued, of being treated as stupid, foolish, or some other discarded piece, fills my heart and if I allow it, my eyes fill with tears.
Whose measuring tape am I supposed to be standing next to each day? We as human beings are some of the most fickle creations God made. We choose to lean to one side or the other based on the popular agenda. It feels like a roster call of “Who do we hate today?” My heart aches at the loss of grace, the loss of mercy, of second chances.
When self-righteous comes into a situation Godly-righteous is shoved out the door. When we use what we think is “right” instead of what God says is “right” we miss the mark entirely.
He has shown you oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
To act justly-– doing what is fair, showing equity toward others, protecting and defending the innocent, those who cannot defend themselves.
To love mercy–giving a second chance to someone instead of bringing “down the hammer” to prove the person was wrong. Odds are they already know they were wrong. It could be coming alongside the person and guiding and directing them to the right way, or it could be showing compassion for them.
To walk humbly with your God— in someways, this should be simple, in others, it is probably the hardest part of the verse. We aren’t God. We don’t have omnipotence, omnipresence, or omniscience, but God does. We need to remember Who is in charge, Who we follow, and why.
God calls us to put ourselves behind Him and others in front of us, to remember it isn’t about us, our wants, our desires, but about Him. His plans are perfect. Perfectly planned, perfectly timed. When we remember to seek Him first everything else will fall into place.
So when self-righteousness comes to put someone “in their place” we need to recognize the place we are standing. Is it in front of someone wagging our finger at them? Is it behind them pushing them into something God has not prepared for them to do or not yet called them to do– but we know “it will be good for them?” We need to remember to check our place. Where we need to be is walking alongside our brothers and sisters, sharing the journey, watching the path ahead, learning, listening, loving compassionately, and serving each other in Christ.
Then we will truly be living out Micah 6:8.