Jerry Bridges and Bob Benvington (The Bookends of the Christian Life) ask some insightful questions to help determine if one is living out of self-righteousness or Christ-righteousness.
When you analyze your Christian walk:
1) Do you tend to live by a list of dos and don’ts?
2) Is it difficult for you to respect those whose standards aren’t as high as yours?
3) Do you assume that practicing spiritual disciplines should result in God’s blessing?
4) Do you feel you re better than most other people?
5) Has it been a long time since you identified a sin and repented of it?
6) Do you resent it when others point out your “spiritual blind spots”?
7) Do you readily recognize the sins of others but not your own?
8) Do you have the sense that God owes you a good life?
9) Do you get angry when difficulties and suffering come into your life?
10) Do you seldom think of the cross?
If you found yourself answering yes to at least half these questions, it’s likely you’re living under a stronghold of self-righteousness toward God. You need to see this for what it really is-a hideous enemy disguised as a satisfying glory. It will let you down and leave you hanging. Its satisfaction is as short-lived as an ice cube in the blazing sun; its glory has all the appeal of a well-dressed corpse. And at the end of the day this fact remains: no amount of personal performance will ever gain the approval of a holy God.