What does it look like to live a righteous life?
Sometimes we just read Scripture but don’t dig deeply. We read a word like “righteous” – know that it should be our goal – and then go about our days hoping that we somehow achieve it. Here is where the book of Proverbs is so helpful because it’s so practical!
CHARACTERISTICS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
• loves discipline (v 1)
• obtains favor from the Lord (v 2)
• will never be moved (v 3)
• is a blessing to others (v 4)
• has thoughts that promote justice (v 5)
• known for having good sense (v 8 )
• shows humility (v 9)
• shows kindness (v 10)
• is hardworking (v 11)
• bears fruit – think “fruit of the spirit” (v 12)
• listens to advice (v 15)
• ignores an insult (v 16)
• speaks truth (v 17)
• heals others with their words (v 18)
• seeks peace and has joy (v 20)
• is faithful (v 22)
• a guide to his neighbor (v 26)
• is full of life (v 28)
Now. That there is a list, my friends. This – plus other traits – would be a perfectly righteous life. Let’s all take a moment and ponder the beauty of perfection.
Now, let’s talk about people because perfection is not possible. Amen?
A mistake we sometimes make is to pull one element out of a list like this, point our finger at somebody, and say, “Ha! I thought they were Christians.” Or I thought they went to church. Or something along those lines.
The reality is that we will not always ignore an insult. Our words will not always be healing. We may fail to show humility or kindness in a situation. Aren’t you so thankful there is grace for times like those?
May the desire of our hearts be a perfectly righteous life. May we also extend grace to others when they fail as well as accept grace from the Lord when we fail – as we will because – people are not perfect.