Self-righteousness can blind us from seeing ourselves in our true condition. Paul was a self-righteous man who was blinded with his own pride and the knowledge of his religion until Jesus healed him and transformed him!
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:1-6
God had to blind Saul physically to slow him down and to get his attention about spiritual matters. Saul thought that he was doing God’s work until Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. Then the Lord used Ananias to help him recover his sight and invited him to join the the family of God.
The problem with self-righteousness is that it creeps up on us. It begins to grow slowly and we don’t realize how self-righteous we have become. Sometimes we see it in people’s reactions to what we say. Sometimes, we find ourselves trying to win an argument in the name of love but not having any compassion for the person.
Do we always know that we are blinded with self-righteousness? According to Revelation 3:14-18, people don’t always know that they are blind. It is the work of the Holy Spirit; sometimes those who really love us need to tell us the truth.
The Lord wants us to have a recovery of sight. He wants us not to hide behind self-righteousness or wear it as cloak that makes us appear better than others. He wants us to know Him intricately, to know people more deeply, and to allow their humanity and their needs to cause us to have compassion for them.
We are called to receive the recovery of sight. It will take humility before we can see. Saul had an amazing conversion because he became humble before the Lord. When he saw believers as obstacles to his religion, he was out to get them and persecute them, but once He saw Jesus the TRUTH, he became a changed man. He saw his true condition, and he realized that others need Jesus as much as he needed Him. Paul became a humble man serving God and loving people!
Lord, please heal our vision. If we have become blinded with our self-righteousness, give us the recovery of sight. If we see you or people as trees, please forgive us Lord and heal our vision. If we have blind spots in certain areas where we have resisted you and others, please heal our vision. Father thank you that you are the healer of our sight! We want the 20/20 vision. We want to see right and perceive right. Amen!
photo credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.