What are the dangers of self righteousness and believing you are superior?

In all honesty, some people do indeed sin less, can get along with anyone, forgive more easily, etc. Why is it “wrong” to believe you are indeed superior if there is evidence you are. Not everyone makes foolish detrimental mistakes. Not everyone falls into self pity.

‘‘For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted’’

And I think there is a passage from Luke 17:7-10 that says we should not feel good for doing something that we are ought to do (in other words, commanded to do by God)

The Pharisees were holy men actually, they believed they were superior, but this caused them to view other people as inferior to them and thus did not associate with them and this developed the vice of pride. The Pharisees did not drink, did not fornicate, they kept themselves pure from all these. But still, their pride got in the way. Self-righteousness shifts the attention to ‘‘me’’, as in ‘‘look at me I’m so holy as compared to the others!’’ and that’s the trap the Pharisees fell into.

So I think whenever we do good deeds out of love for God, we ought to still humble ourselves. The more we do this, the higher we will enjoy God in Heaven (a higher merit, in other words). I think there was a quote that said that the humble man does not hold himself in esteem but follows along the idea that we are nothing but full of sins and faults (paraphrased)

Have a blessed Sunday :slight_smile:

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

Well said. You have a blessed Sunday as well.


Because the danger is that you’ll believe you’re none of those things because of yourself.

An example of these dangers can be summed up in one name, that of the fallen Arch Angel Lucifer.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and
It is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Holy Michael, the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

This ^ is a word game. It’s played here on CAF by people who conflate meanings and ideas because they don’t have a good idea of the nuances of those meanings and ideas. CAF is full of bewildered posters asking nonsensical questions.

I’ve also heard posters here saying: why can’t people just answer the question instead of analyzing the OP. Most of these half-baked original posts are unanswerable in a format such as this, that is to say, a forum. It’s possible to get a truer sense of a question in a face to face conversation where inflection, tone and body language can be a part of the conversation, as well as a much quicker back and forth in order to clarify things.

Nevertheless, I understand what your getting at in your OP. It’s not wrong to have an awareness of being more educated, experienced, gifted, talented, trained, accomplished, etc…It’s wrong to hold those things over others in an uncharitable way; sometimes it may be necessary in order to crack a tough nut, but that’s a matter more for parents and instructors, and perhaps the occasional CAF poster, not young adults who are frustrated with the people around them.

I hope I’ve been charitable toward you with my own sense of “superiority”. :slight_smile:


We all have our own relationship with God and our own responsibility to do the best we can.

If we dwell on some other person’s sins and we say, “I’m not like that!”, we lose touch with the fact that we’re not perfect either.

Biggest danger…when you discover you are not.

“I love myself
I think I’m grand
I go to the movies
and hold my hand”

You present an interesting question. There are many answers. I personally do not care to “hang out” with people who think they are more superior than I. This kind of personality seems to gravitate to “inferior,” plain, old run of the mill people. I have one brother with a much higher than average I. Q. He didn’t make friends well or play with others well, even into late adulthood. He knew he was “smart” and made everyone aware of it.

Yes, I think being “superior” can be a sin in some circumstances esp. when there is a certain smugness and attitude attached to the to the concept of being in the upper class of the human race. If you or anyone feels that they are of the genre’ of a superior person created by God-I hope you use your gifts wisely with love and compassion. You have a gift and a gif can be taken back at any time. Peace.

I seem to recall a certain Pharisee who stood in the temple and raised his eyes toward heaven and he said something along the lines of, “Thank God, I am not like that tax collector. I pray. I fast. I give alms. I am good. I am holy.”

And then I seem to recall a certain tax collector who stood afar and who could not raise his eyes toward heaven and he said something along the lines of, “Oh God, please me merciful to me, a sinner.”

I seem to recall that one man went away justified and forgiven and the other man received his full reward here on earth. “Dear Lord, might I always have the heart of that certain tax collector, no matter what good I do or don’t do on this earth. Thank you. Amen.”

Hopefully that answers your question.

Man is capable of “inordinate self-love” as Aquinas put it, aka “pride”, to overvalue himself, his worth, and therefore his rights. We have the freedom to play God IOW. It’s actually rooted in believing a lie about oneself. ISIS is an extreme of such an attitude, Napoleon and Hitler are other examples, rapists and torturers also have to perceive themselves to “have the right” at the time of their crimes. But even white lies and everyday gossip are often rooted in pride, and cause harm to neighbor as they constitute a failure to love in one way or another.

Well said.

But to act as if we’re more superior to others when we truly have behaved more morally isn’t lying either. Besides, it’s not like the morally “inferior” didn’t have a choice in the matter. If I never killed anyone and the murder who killed others knowing right from wrong and was in full control of his actions and could’ve lived a life of never killing people gets ridiculed and looked down by me, sure it is ultimately my choice to do so, but at the same time, he brought it on himself. He has a choice over his actions. It’s not like he had any less ability to behave morally than I did. There was something he could’ve done to prevent that from happening.

He chose not to, and no one should support or feel sorry for him, especially because he repented. Moreover, we should never do this simply on the grounds that were all sinners so as to somehow put us on the same level of depravation as this monster so that somehow justifies his inexcusable actions.

We all have choices in how were going to act.

Very honest. We are all sinners but we aren’t all equal honestly. I think it becomes a slippery slope. Why should you compare yourself to another person anyways?

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