An arrogant and self righteous person can be inclined to 

smugly think of themselves as important. They 

believe they are righteous in and of themselves. They 

tend to be sure of their own righteousness and will treat 

others with contempt. 

They exhibit pious self-assurance showing an exaggerated 

awareness of their own virtuousness and righteousness. 

They have a tendency of seeing the sins and faults of 

others, and instead of hating the sin... they hate the sinners.


They can be very critical of others and believe 

they are always right, better, smarter, or more important

 than other people. They tend to drive people away by 

putting others down, being intolerant of the opinions and 

doings of others, and making others feel uncomfortable, 

and spiritually inferior. 

Their haughty sense of self importance overshadows their 

ability to realize their own unchecked problems. They 

reject correction and don't seem to comprehend any 

variation of their own argument... let alone any overriding 

counter argument of any sort. For this reason arrogance 

can be described as a form of delusion.

Self righteous people want to look and sound righteous. 

They want others to see and hear how righteous they are. 

It has nothing to do with glorifying God. 

They are more into the show... the outward appearance.

 They parade their good works in order to garner approval 

and praises of others. They want to be held in high regard, 

seated in the best seats, and called by pompous titles while

totally disregarding their inner conversion. This is exactly

 what the Scriptures remind us that the Pharisees did.

Jesus passionately rebuked the scribes and Pharisees, who 

are the perfect example of self-righteousness, in 

Matthew 23, six times, for rigidly sticking to their 

legalistic traditions, publicly wearing their righteousness 

outwardly, sounding the trumpets when they would give, 

fast, etc. They would make a public display of their 

righteousness to people in order to make themselves 

look better to others (Matthew 6:16, 3:8, 6:2).

Self -pride harms only the proud. Arrogance due to 

overbearing pride brings contempt for others.

An arrogant person is often rude and very fond of 

offending others. They cannot take abuse, but can be

 abusive and very condescending to others.

According to my research, this kind of arrogance is 

sometimes used as a coping mechanism for people who 

are secretly insecure. Their insecurity is disguised as 

confidence, self-worth, or self-importance.

Definition of Arrogance:

An insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes 

from believing that you are better, smarter, or more 

important than other people. 

Definition for 


(also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, 

and holier-than-thou attitudes):

A feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority

derived from a sense that one's beliefs, actions, or 

affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average 


Self righteousness literally means... self-right.

The self-righteous can have or show an exaggerated 

opinion of their own importance, merit, ability, etc. They 

can be conceited and overbearingly proud. 

If we treat people we consider to be "sinners" with scorn,

or think we are better than they are,

we are guilty of the sin of self-righteousness.

Biblically speaking, self-righteousness is the idea that we 

can somehow generate within ourselves a righteousness

that will be acceptable to God.

Jesus told a parable about certain people who

“Trusted in themselves that they were righteous

and viewed others with contempt”

 (Luke 18).

Jesus referred to two men going up to the temple

 to pray — the one a Pharisee, the other a tax-collector.

The Pharisee began by thanking God that he was not like 

the sinners of society and then went on to reel off his own 

noteworthy virtues.

The tax-collector stood at a distance with downcast eyes,

pleading for God’s mercy and identifying himself

 as a sinner.

The conclusion?

The admitted sinner was accepted before God, and the 

self-righteous Pharisee found no approval with God.

It was Isaiah who said that our righteous acts are like 

filthy rags ( Isaiah 64:6 ). He was talking about self 

righteousness (the things we do to try to make us right 

with God). 

Self righteousness can look great on the outside. 

Some may look holy, but they solely trust in themselves to 

be good enough for God. They are seeking God based 

upon their righteousness and what they can accomplish for 


None can be righteous

on the basis of their own behavior.

According to Scripture, God must increase in importance, 

while we must decrease in importance. Self-righteousness 

leads to pride, our decrease... to humility.

God's righteousness and our 

self-righteousness are 

polar opposites.

We are the righteousness of God. What an incredible 

blessing it is to submit to the righteousness of God. We do 

not have to rely on what we do to please God. God is 

pleased with us on the basis of our faith in Jesus. There is 

nothing else we can do to add to it.

May we decrease and submit to God's righteousness.

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