One of the main messages of Christianity is that we are subject to selfish emotions – envy, pride, self-righteousness. These are products of our ‘natural’ or ‘fallen’ state. It is these emotions, which are connected to our ego, that we must resist. The only emotion we can trust and cultivate - as one that drives action - is love. If you are not feeling love then be on your guard that some selfishness is not at work.
For example, I recently heard an anecdote where a woman was in a lift with a group of men, and one of them made a crude joke. She was offended and told the man off. Now this is no doubt the right thing to do if someone (woman or man) does this – but Christianity asks for more of you. It asks you how were you feeling when this happened? If you are outraged and feel offended, and speak from that motivation then that suggests that your ego is involved. A true Christian would not be concerned about how the crude remark affected them, but would be more concerned about the state of the soul of someone who makes such remarks, and their reply would therefore come from a place of love and concern for that person (rather than their own offended ego). And I suggest that with such a motivation of love the response will be delivered slightly differently – but perhaps with bigger effect. I am not saying that the reply would not be stern, but rather that the tone and facial expressions might be more of deep concern than deep outrage.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
“Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16a)