Can you be righteous?


The impossible ideal of perfection made possible by the right posture of heart.

Sometimes we perceive righteousness as such an overwhelming expectation and lofty ideal that we think it’s unattainable.

We hear of the men and women of great faith in the Bible who were called righteous, and we think there’s no way we could measure up.

However, many of them made mistakes and had personal struggles just like us.

For example, David impregnated another man’s wife and then put out a hit on her husband (2 Samuel 11). Yet God described David as a man after His own heart (1Samuel 13:14).

Abraham believed God and was credited with righteousness even though he lied about his relationship with his wife—twice—to preserve his own life and gain favor with foreign leaders. (Genesis 15:6; Genesis 12 & 20).

Elijah the great prophet, had a mental breakdown after one of his greatest feats and wanted to give up on life. He too is a Hall of Famer among the Fathers of the Faith. (1 Kings 18 & 19).

Let’s not forget Rahab, Jesus’ ancestor who was a prostitute (Hebrews 11:31); or the young widow, Ruth, who on her mother-in-law’s advice, sneaked into Boaz’s quarters and advanced a plan to win him over in marriage. (Ruth 3-4).

The common thread among these great men and women is that despite their flaws, they had a heart for God and persistently pursued intimacy with Him.

They made mistakes, but once they got back to their right minds, they acknowledged their weakness, asked for God’s forgiveness and got back on track.

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…” Proverbs 24:16

How you respond when you mess up is what matters. Do you deny or wallow in the mistake and condemn yourself? Or do you make it right with God, accept his forgiveness and keep going?

Are you seeing righteousness a little different now?

A matter of the heart, not appearance

In God’s kingdom, righteousness is not about being goody too shoes, rigid and ritualistic.

Made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ, righteousness is a posture of our heart, of desiring to honour and to please God above all else. With this conviction we are motivated to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God,” explains 2 Corinthians 5:21

 Righteousness then, is a display of our love for and acceptance of Jesus Christ.

“If you love me, keep my commands,” (John 14:15). All God’s commands are summed up in this, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 10:27).

To love is a daily decision. Our selfish desires battle against the will and ways of God constantly. To win in these moments, the Bible instructs “submit to the Spirit (of God in you) and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh…” (Galatians 5:16-18).

This is how we are enabled moment-by-moment to honour God and to do what is right in His eyes.

As many times as is necessary each day, let us pray, Lord, I submit my spirit to your Spirit. Let your will be done in and through me today here in earth as it is in heaven for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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CHAYIL glory is the all-powerful, great glory of God manifested in and through his believers in the earth. The CHAYIL GLORY blog is published every Monday with insights to understand and apply God’s perspective to everyday life.