Do you know that feeling you get when you know you are right about something? You get it when you are so convinced you are right that no one can even try to make you think otherwise. You just know you are right...right?
There's a name for that feeling...it's called self-righteousness.
And while there is nothing wrong with being right, there is something wrong with self-righteousness. You see, God is the only one who is righteous. He is the only one who can decide what is right and do it all the time. We might be able to understand what is right, but we don't do it all the time. So...self-righteousness just doesn't work. It doesn't work because we cannot make ourselves right.
It's kind of like this...imagine you have a deck of cards that is incomplete. One of the cards is missing. You cannot complete the deck on your own. But, if your friend gives you the missing card, you have a full deck. And, of course, that friend has to give up a card to complete your deck.
Your deck of cards is like your life. It is missing righteousness, and you cannot find it on your own. But, Jesus gives you the missing card. And he is the only one that has it. He lived a perfect life and gave it up so that you could be righteous.
You see, righteousness doesn't come from ourselves. Righteousness comes from Jesus. And that helps us understand the problem with self-righteousness. If we think we are right just because we think we are right, we think we are better than other people. But we are not better than other people. We are all walking around with incomplete decks.
But if we know we need that missing card from Jesus, well, that helps us see ourselves and others differently. It keeps us from insisting that we are right. It reminds us to be humble. And, it helps us share his love before we share our opinions.
Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham's benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Romans 4:20-25
Read Romans 12:14-21
What do these verses tell us about the danger of trusting our own judgment?
Why do they warn us not to think we know it all?
Make up a Card Game
Using any deck of cards (it does not need to be a standard deck of cards...you can use ones for any game you might have), come up with your own game to play. Create your rules to include something that happens when a card is missing from the deck, and use the opportunity to talk about why having a complete deck of cards is as important as having a complete life with Jesus.
Think of some ways you can choose being kind over being right, like not correcting a younger sibling or allowing a classmate to share an opinion without arguing in response. Be intentional about showing and sharing that little bit of Jesus with one person this week.