As Christians, we are called to live a life of righteousness. In fact, the Bible tells us that righteousness is not just a good thing to have, but it is essential to our relationship with God.
In this blog post, we will explore what the Bible has to say about the strength of righteousness and why it is important for us as Christians to strive for righteousness in our daily lives.
What is Righteousness?
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Before we dive into the strength of righteousness, we need to understand what righteousness is. Righteousness is defined as “the quality of being morally right or justifiable” (Oxford Dictionary). In other words, righteousness is living a life that is pleasing to God, following His commands, and treating others with love and respect.
In the Bible, righteousness is often used in contrast to wickedness or unrighteousness. Proverbs 11:18 tells us, “The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.” And in Psalm 34:15, we read, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” These verses, among many others, highlight the importance of living a life of righteousness.
The Strength of Righteousness
Now that we have a basic understanding of what righteousness is, let’s explore the strength of righteousness. In the Bible, righteousness is portrayed as a source of strength and a shield for the believer.
Psalm 5:12 says, “For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” This verse tells us that God blesses the righteous and protects them with His favor. In other words, when we live a life of righteousness, we can trust that God will protect us and provide for us.
Proverbs 10:29 also speaks to the strength of righteousness. It says, “The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.” This verse tells us that the way of the Lord, which is characterized by righteousness, is a source of strength for the believer. In contrast, those who practice iniquity will ultimately face destruction.
Righteousness is also seen as a source of joy and peace. Proverbs 21:21 says, “He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness, and honor.” When we follow righteousness and mercy, we find life, righteousness, and honor. This means that when we live a life of righteousness, we experience joy and peace, knowing that we are living in a way that is pleasing to God.
Striving for Righteousness
As Christians, it is important for us to strive for righteousness. This means making a conscious effort to live a life that is pleasing to God, even when it is difficult.
In Matthew 5:6, Jesus tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” This verse tells us that those who desire righteousness will be filled with it. In other words, when we strive for righteousness, we will be rewarded.
We are also called to put on the armor of God, which includes the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). The breastplate protects the heart, which is the center of our emotions and desires. When we put on the breastplate of righteousness, we protect our hearts from the temptations of the world and focus on living a life that is pleasing to God.
The Power of Righteousness in Relationships
Righteousness is not only important in our relationship with God, but it also plays a crucial role in our relationships with others. In the book of Proverbs, we read, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26). This verse reminds us that our associations and friendships can influence us for better or worse. When we surround ourselves with other righteous individuals, we are more likely to stay on the path of righteousness ourselves.
Furthermore, living a life of righteousness can also positively impact our relationships with others. When we treat others with love, respect, and kindness, we demonstrate God’s love to them. This can lead to stronger, healthier, and more meaningful relationships.
In addition, the Bible teaches us that righteousness is a key component of forgiveness. In Psalm 51:14-15, David prays, “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.” David acknowledges his own sinfulness and asks for God’s forgiveness. In doing so, he also praises God’s righteousness and recognizes that forgiveness is only possible through God’s grace and mercy.
The Consequences of Unrighteousness
While the strength of righteousness is clear, the Bible also warns us about the consequences of unrighteousness. Proverbs 11:21 tells us, “Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.” This verse reminds us that those who practice unrighteousness will ultimately face consequences, while the righteous will be delivered.
In addition, unrighteousness can lead to a damaged relationship with God. In Isaiah 59:2, we read, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” When we choose to live in unrighteousness, we distance ourselves from God and damage our relationship with Him.
Striving for Righteousness in a Fallen World
Living a life of righteousness is not always easy, especially in a fallen world that is filled with sin and temptation. However, the Bible encourages us to persevere in our pursuit of righteousness.
In 1 Timothy 6:11-12, Paul writes, “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Paul reminds us that pursuing righteousness requires effort and perseverance. We must actively flee from sin and temptation, and instead pursue righteousness, along with other qualities such as godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Furthermore, when we face trials and temptations, we can turn to God for help. In Hebrews 4:15-16, we read, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Jesus understands our struggles and temptations, and we can turn to Him for strength and help.
In conclusion, the strength of righteousness cannot be underestimated. Living a life of righteousness has numerous benefits, including God’s protection, provision, joy, peace, and stronger relationships with others. Furthermore, righteousness is essential to our relationship with God and our pursuit of forgiveness. While living a life of righteousness may not always be easy, the Bible encourages us to persevere in our pursuit of righteousness and to turn to God for help and strength when we face trials and temptations.
As Christians, we are called to live a life that is pleasing to God and to strive for righteousness in all that we do. This means following God’s commands, treating others with love and respect, and actively fleeing from sin and temptation. When we do so, we experience the strength of righteousness and the blessings that come with it.
In our fallen world, it can be easy to become discouraged and to give in to temptation. However, the Bible reminds us that we can turn to God for help and strength. Through prayer, reading His Word, and fellowship with other believers, we can find the strength and encouragement we need to continue on the path of righteousness.
In closing, let us remember the words of Proverbs 21:3, “To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Let us strive to live a life of righteousness, not only for ourselves, but for the glory of God and for the benefit of those around us.