The Antidote To Self-Righteousness: Mercy

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.


“It is so easy for the fruit of the Spirit to become all about us, our character, and our reputation. Here’s the thing about the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is never about me and always about you; never about us and always about others. This is the problem of thinking about the fruit of the Spirit in the framework of our virtue and our character traits. The fruit of the Spirit comes from the presence of Jesus who is always oriented toward other people.” WUC JdWalt  Nov 25, 2022

A reminder for  us all that the root of all goodness is by HIS Spirit which is love, not self-righteousness.

One can attempt to justify one’s self as righteous in “keeping all the law” (just as the rich young ruler did) but even as one understands and strives to live into all the Love-fruitful attributes, it becomes only self-righteousness without mercy. Christ calls “blessed” those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…. not those who believe they have already attained it. It must be a daily surrender to pursuit of the righteousness of Christ, else our pursuit becomes our own dead-ended self-righteousness on the pilgrimage. The next “blessing” Christ pronounced in Matthew 5 after hungering and thirsting for righteousness is for the merciful. The way out of self-righteousness is the realization that we must give mercy to others, just as it has been given to us and received by us from God. As we give Mercy, like giving Love itself, expressed in Generosity (the Goodness of God ) and Gratitude, the response born in us, becomes a loop, so does our increasing capacity for mercy to others with the result that we find God’s mercy always available to us, as well. And if we are truly honest with ourselves and God, and honest before others, we know that we all need God’s mercy daily, as our hungering and thirsting for righteousness is always only satisfied daily with each “meal” of Word and Spirit that we take the time to enjoy at the table with Christ.