Monday, January 20, 2014

Being Righteous vs. Practicing Righteousness

"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." 1 John 3:7
 John's words just blow me away. He is saying that when we practice righteousness, we are righteous. By Gods grace, He sees us as righteous when we are pursuing and living out righteousness. This doesn't mean that we have perfected the art of being righteous. What it does mean is that as we continue trying, He continues to see us as righteous. What a blessing it is to be seen as righteous in the sight if God! I think of how many times I have fallen in this stumbling,chaotic walk with Jesus. Yet as I continue to stretch my hand forward to grab His, as I seek to practice the things He has perfected, I am seen in the same way as He is. I still fall, but I am not alone and I am not unrighteous.

Righteousness used to be one of my main goals in life. That was before I had an encounter with Jesus that changed my life. When I truly understood Jesus' sacrifice for me, I knew I had to either choose to live for myself or to live my life for Jesus. I chose Jesus. My life could never be the same since that old person died an ugly death at the foot of the cross. As a completely different person, I have a completely different goal for my life. No longer do I simply want to be morally righteous, instead I want to know God in the most intimate way possible. I want to go broke from spending my whole life on His desires. As I do this, as I practice this whole idea of pleasing the Lord, I am practicing righteousness. Now, instead of being unable to ever attain righteousness, I have attained it simply by practicing.
Practice may not have made me perfect, but it has certainly made me righteous.