I know this post is straying from the promised, "up next..." of my last post; however, seeing as someone has claimed that I am self righteous and as I have claimed others as being self righteous, I would like to address this topic of self righteousness.
Self righteousness is a belief that one's righteousness is greater than the righteousness of another person.
This doesn't imply only righteousness of actions (ie my actions are more righteous than yours) but also righteousness of beliefs (ie my beliefs are more righteous than yours).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about believing you are right and others are wrong, but about believing you are more righteous than another because you believe you are right and another is wrong.
It is smugness in one's believed rightness. It is an attitude that leaves no room for discussion -- "I am right, and I will always be right, for I have God on my side."
Me, I'm 100% willing to be wrong. I make no declarations that what I believe is definitely God's stance. I am open to discussion -- as long as it's an actual discussion, both sides respectfully listening to the other's viewpoints and giving each statement meek consideration (one person declaring, "I am right; you are wrong, and nothing you can say will change that!" is not a discussion).
When it's not actual discussion, I tend to lose my temper and become a prick, saying things such as, "If you're truly a representative of God, then God is an asshole, and I want nothing to do with Him!"
There needs to be meekness in discussions. Self righteousness is a state void of meekness.
Meekeness means no beliefs of "I am right; I will always be right; there's nothing that can be said here to convince me that I am not right; I am right... [repeat, lather, and never rinse]."
Again, I am completely willing to be wrong; I am completely willing to discuss things with others who view things differently than I, to listen to others' points of view and sincerely consider whether or not they are valid (not based on anything other than the claims they make; that is, void of what I believe, myself).
However, and again, this can only happen if the other party is willing to discuss things. Otherwise, I'm talking to a brick wall who thinks I'm not listening to their constant self righteous dribble... and then they feel further justified in their beliefs when I end up flipping them off, walking away, and mumbling obscenities.
Since that happens to them all the time, then they feel even even more sure that what they believe is true, thinking that nobody can refute what they believe.
One major problem being that their standard of evaluation is screwed up. The only way something can refute what they believe is true is to have that refutation fall in line with what they believe is true. That is, anything that could refute what they believe is illogical... because it goes against what they believe.
(Now, that's not to say I'm spotless, here. I have my moments of self righteousness, but it's definitely something I strive to shed. I am working on becoming more open and willing to be wrong and meekly consider all viewpoints without any preconceived notions... and part of that is throwing my ideas out there to be discussed -- discussed (see this entire post again if you are confused as to what I mean by discussion).)