(1) It is taught: [in the Talmud, Tractate Niddah, 30b]: "An oath is issued [to the soul before birth]: Be righteous (tzadik) , and be not wicked (rasha); but even if everyone in the world tells you "you are righteous," view yourself as wicked.'"
But this is difficult to understand. For have we not also learned [in Avot 2:13], "Do not regard yourself as a wicked person."?!
What's more, if one is wicked in one's own eyes, one will feel pain in one's heart and become depressed, and will be unable to serve God with joyful and a glad heart. But if one is not pained in one's heart by this, this could lead to irreverence, God forbid!
(2) So the matter is as follows: We find in the Talmud [in Tractate Berachot 7a] five different types of people. A righteous person [tzaddik] who has good, a righteous person [tzaddik] who has evil; a wicked person [rasha] who has good, a wicked person [rasha] who has evil; and an average person [beinoni].
(3) And the sages explained in the Talmud , that the 'righteous person who has good' is a completely righteous person, whereas the 'righteous person who has evil' is a person who is righteous, but not completely...
(4) And - later in the Talmud [60b]: "The righteous [tzadikim] are ruled by their good inclination etc., the wicked [rashaim] are ruled by their evil inclination, while the average person [beinoni] is judged by both inclinations etc.
"I, For example," Said Rabbah, "am a beinoni.'
But Abaye said to him, 'Our master makes it impossible for any other creature to live!'"
(6) So we also need to understand what is the true nature of the beinoni. For certainly it is not someone whose deeds are half good and half sinful, for if that were the case how could Rabbah mistake himself for a beinoni? For it is known that his lips never ceased reciting words of Torah, such that even the Angel of Death could not overwhelm him. So how would he make such a mistake to consider himself half sinful, God forbid?
(10) So when we say in a general way, that someone with half good deeds and half sins is called a beinoni, and someone with a majority of good deeds is called a tzadik, these are terms we borrow to help us think about reward and punishment. For a person is judged based on the majority, and so is called a tzadik, a righteous person, according to the law.
(11) But the real truth of these terms, and the real difference between a tzadik and a beinoni can be explained by what the sages said: "The righteous [tzadikim] are ruled by their good inclination"... for they have no evil desire at all, having completely extinguished it...
(12) So one who has not reached this level - even if they have more merits then sins - cannot be considered to have reached the level of a tzadik.