My Brother and I always fought. It was common practice for him to hurt me while passing each other down the hallway at home. Soon I became so afraid of him I would just cower when he would approach me. Until one day, that all changed, and I wish it didn't. I missed his abuse.
I was probably a Junior in high school. I just came home from sports practice. I poured myself a bowl of Coco Puffs and sat on the couch to watch TV. I realized I needed something from the kitchen so I gently placed my very full bowl of cereal on the couch and returned to the kitchen. From across the room, my brother yells at me that my cereal is going to spill. I told him that it was fine and not to worry about it. A small argument proceeded and ended with my brother walking across the room and hocking a loogie in my cereal!
I was appalled! I could not believe he would do such an insulting thing. My anger rose, and I lost it. I've been mad before, I've been cruel before, but never like this. All previous arguments were all superficial insults. This time I went deep. I pointed out all his flaws. I raised myself above him. Whatever I said, it was mean, really mean.
The following days he was removed. I would walk passed him and he wouldn't even look at me. I knew that I had hurt him bad.
I reflected on what I had said. I reflected on my attitude and I realized that I was terribly self righteous. You see, I was a "church-goer". I did everything right (so I thought). My brother was more of a rebel, and those were the things I picked at during our fight. I really had to look deep within myself. "Wasn't I better than he was? I did do all the right things. So therefore I am better." But then I remembered the council not to be proud. I knew I was proud. How could I not feel proud of my righteous decisions?
After much thought and study I came to the conclusion that I was very wrong. "I" had done nothing right. The good book says "for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord". All my "righteous decisions" were good decisions, not because I was good, but because the Lord is good.
I still had a lot more to learn about judging others. Most of that I wouldn't learn until my mission (and am still learning). But the point I guess I'm trying to make is that Self Righteousness is a sin. It is giving yourself the credit for good actions, when those good actions wouldn't even exist if we didn't have our good God.
To my brother, I am sorry. I was wrong for, as the scriptures say, "brother, let me pull out the mote that is in your eye", when I had a beam in my own eye.
Let us give God the credit, and humble ourselves before Him. Let us never judge one another, "for with that same judgement which ye judge ye shall also be judged".