Self-righteousness is not the same as Christian righteousness. When we show Christian righteousness, we read the Bible because we want to get closer to God. We try to follow the rules because we are thankful for Christ’s forgiveness. And we pray because we have a deep desire for a relationship with God.
Righteousness is all about right relationship. To be in right relationship with the people around us, we search for the image of God in each and every person — black and white, rich and poor, young and old, immigrant and native-born. We act as though Jesus is hidden inside the least of our brothers and sisters, because we remember that Jesus said that we are really serving him when we give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger and clothing to the naked . Maybe one of the reasons that Jesus came into the world as a weak and vulnerable baby was to remind us of the importance of caring for the least of our brothers and sisters.