I know there have been times I've been motivated act a certain way merely to maintain a godly Christian persona. I've been more concerned about pleasing (yes, even impressing) those around me instead of honoring God. Self-righteousness is something I struggle with as I can barely remember the days before my conversion. "How can people live such wretched lives," I wonder to myself as I look at the chaos around me. But their sin is the same sin that affects me. I may not be controlled by it thanks to God's grace, but it still taints my life and my motives.
I read this today:
"If our human obedience or morality isn't motivated by gratitude for God's grace, it is very dangerous. If not rooted in gratitude for God's love for us in Christ, morality is deadlier to the soul than immorality. Why? Remember that Jesus said it is those who are lost, who know they need a physician, that he came to save (Luke 19:10). Those who excel at the sort of obedience listed above may not see their need for a Savior; their hearts may be hardened and unfazed by God's grace . . . A society riddled with immorality will not be a pleasant place to live, but a society riddled with self-congratulatory morality will be satanic and resistant to grace." Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson (pg. 44)