Claiming to be perfect, having a holier-than-thou attitude, and putting on an outward show to impress others without the inner character to match. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were like that, having an attitude of “I’m not like other men, see how good I am” (Mt 6:5; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 18:11-14). People with such opinions are deceived and actually in desperate need of truth (Rev 3:17). Jesus said the person who was without sin, could be the first to throw a stone at the sinner (Jn 8:7)!

The wisdom of the Bible is to make it a priority to clean up our own lives rather than trying to sort out others (Lk 6:41,42). Admit you are still a sinner, saved by grace, but in the process of being made into the image of Christ – an ongoing work.

The help we offer to others should be done with an attitude of humility, not superiority, as it is a case of one beggar showing another where bread is because we are all sinners before God.

See also: hypocrite, self-righteousness.

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