Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
Ah! my friends, that old rascal self-righteousness, you will never get rid of him as long as you live. The devil was well pictured under the form of a serpent because a serpent can creep in anywhere, through the smallest crevice. Self-righteousness is a serpent; for it will enter anywhere. If you try to serve your God, “What a fine fellow you are,” says the devil. “Ah! don’t you serve your God well! You are always preaching. You are a noble fellow.” If you go to a prayer meeting, God gives you a little gift, and you are able to pour out your heart. Presently there is a pat on the back from Satan. “Did not you pray sweetly? I know the brethren will love you; you are growing in grace very much.” If a temptation comes, and you are able to resist it, “Ah!” says he at once, “you are a true soldier of the cross; look at the enemy you have knocked down; you will have a bright crown by-and-bye; you are a brave fellow!” You go on trusting God implicitly; Satan then says, your faith is very strong: no trial can overcome you: there is a weak brother, he is not half as strong as you are!” Away you go, and scold your weak brother, because he is not as big as you, and all the while Satan is cheering you up, and saying, “What a mighty warrior you are! so faithful-always trusting in God, you have not any self-righteousness.” The minister preaches to the Pharisee: but the Pharisee is not fifty-ninth cousin to you; you are not at all self-righteous in your own opinion, and all the while you are the most self-righteous creature in existence.
Ah! beloved, just when we think ourselves humble we are sure to be proud; and when we are groaning over our pride we are generally the most humble. You may just read your own estimate backwards. Just when we imagine we are the worst, we are often the best, and when we conceive ourselves the best, we are often the worst…Your candle has got the snuff of self-righteousness upon it; you want to have that taken away, and then you will burn all right. ~ C.H. Spurgeon