Are you righteous?
Now that’s a difficult question. And to answer it, first we need to define “righteous”! The Bible does so in Prov 20:7: “The righteous man leads a blameless life.” In other words, a righteous person is someone who always tries to do what is right!
So, back to our original question: Are you righteous? Do you fit the bill?
And what about me? Do I fit the bill?
Remember Rom. 3:23? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
Does this mean no one is righteous?
I am originally from the old country, the one on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and my first experiences in America left had me totally confused. I was attending university, and all of my male counterparts encouraged me to blindly call up a girl I didn’t even know how to ask for a date! Now I come from a reserved family, and my core values dictated that I needed to know a person before asking them out! The concept was, to me, utterly disgusting and morally wrong! I still remember my reaction: “Bind date? Are you kidding? Why would I want to do such a thing!”
After months of brainwashing however, I finally gave in, and with an anxiously beating heart, I picked up the phone. I haphazardly opened the school’s publication containing all of the names, phone numbers, and pictures of the student body, and ran my finger over the pictures in the girl’s section, randomly stopping from time to time to examine the portrait. I had only set one condition for myself: The girl I called had to be pretty. My first three choices didn’t meet my criteria, but finally, on the forth try, my finger stopped on a face that, although not gorgeous, was passing. Hey? Why should I be so picky?
With shaking fingers I dialled the phone and stammered out my request. Her response was not exactly what I had anticipated: “Where’s your picture?” The rest is history! Never has a guy been turned down so quickly! At the time I didn’t even realized I looked like a decrepit vampire!
I did learn something that day, though. Every time you cave in to pressure, you lose!
So back to our definition of righteousness: “The righteous man leads a blameless life: (Prov. 20:7 NIV). In other words, righteousness will keep you from caving in to pressure; it will keep your heart from wandering in the wrong direction. Righteousness will help you determine right from wrong, and a righteous person is willing to do what is right at all times! With that definition in mind, it is easy to see why righteousness is a vitally important piece of equipment! In fact, righteousness is the second piece of armour that God has provided for all Christians: “. . . With the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Eph 6:14 NIV)!
It’s interesting that God’s Word compares righteousness to a breastplate whose function is to protect all of our vital body parts from harm. Sounds important, doesn’t it? So how can we put on this “breastplate”?
By asking ourselves what Jesus would do if He were in our shoes.
Some of you might not know Jesus well enough to know what He would do. If this describes you, I would encourage you to read the Bible and acquaint yourself with God’s Holy Spirit who will lead you to the truth. It is well worth the journey!
And what is the result of a heart that longs after righteousness?
“The righteous will never be uprooted.” (Prov 10:30 NIV); and “A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.” (Prov 12:3 NIV)
“Would you like to buy this fabulous watch that I have hiding in my coat?”
“Let me see!”
“No! I can’t!”
“Then definitely not!”
What about you? Are you interested?
(To access the entire “When Temptation Looms” devotional series, please click here.)