It is a sense of our own righteousness that is the most dangerous and destructive attribute to ourselves and the people around us.
This is because feeling righteous leads us to feel deserving in some way. It is out of righteousness that we often demand tribute or actions from others. A sense of our own righteousness leads to a place of expectation and superiority…we expect that the world too, would recognize our righteousness and act accordingly. When it does not we become angry and begin demanding it in our various ways…and when this fails we become hateful.
To be righteous means to be right with God. One cannot be partly righteous; righteous on a particular issue or a particular stance. This is why righteousness eludes us.
“There is no one righteous, not even one;” – Romans 3:10
This is why righteousness is given to us as a cover and as shelter but it is not our own.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
When we recognize that this righteousness we feel is not our own then our response is (or should be) tempered. If it is not our righteousness it is not our place to defend it or to measure others by it or to have expectation of others as a result.
Rather the response to being covered by another’s righteousness is to be grateful and to take this gratitude and share with those around us.