Righteousness

Living by a moral compass; virtue,uprightness, doing what is right

Transcend political correctness and strive for human righteousness. Anthony D’Angelo 

You can only be called a hypocrite if you judge others first. Author Unknown

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Martin Luther King, Jr.   

  The world suffers from a shortage of righteousness. The problem is that righteousness cannot be imputed, forced, or legislated. It has to be come from within, not from without. It is not the same as self-righteousness; not driven by ulterior motives, political correctness, or a “holier than thou” attitude.

     Those seeking righteous living march to be the beat of a different drummer. They try to be insulated and resistant to peer group pressures, ways of the world, public opinion or anything corrupting or compromising their virtues, principles and high standards. Standing for and believing in something gives them strength that helps them avoid giving into “it’s all about me”, self glory, elitism or anything putting them on a pedestal to be better than others. An inner code of conduct compels them to do what it right, motivated to do so whether someone is looking over their shoulder or not. They have their own inner compass which guides and directs them.

      Righteousness and self-righteousness is not the same. The self-righteous are elitists, judgmental, arrogant and condescending. Their mission is to make sure that you comply with their definition of righteousness. They tend to be judge and jury in determining whether you measure up or fall short. The self-righteous tend to be rather hypocritical. They may not hold themselves accountable to the same high standards as they have for others; not practicing what they preach to others. The self-righteous believe that they are not personally accountable in the same ways as they expect of others. They have a personal exemption. It is more; do as I say do, not as I do. They are better than the rest of us. They often look down on others, possibly even being scornful or hateful.

      Those seeking righteousness, put their time and effort into trying to become better, trying to live up to their own expectations. They are more motivated to be good examples than hypocritical judges. It is not their mission to judge others.  They are focused on holding themselves responsible and accountable. They want to be virtuous, moral and upright. The righteous can be trusted, keep their word and commitments. We would be better off putting more time and effort into holding ourselves more personally accountable than in judging the lives of others. By being good examples and role models, we will come closer to be a positive influence to others.

Challenge: Your actions speak louder than your words. Hold yourself accountable to not asking of others what you do not ask of yourself. Not holding yourself to the same expectations and standards you have for others will be seen as hypocritical. Finding fault and judging others when you do not do any better yourself, will damage your credibility with those you are trying to influence. It is always a good adage to practice what you preach.

Wisdom: The measure of any man’s virtue is what he would do if he had neither the laws nor public opinion, nor even his own prejudices, to control him. William Hazlitt  

Spiritual: (NIV)

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and Righteousness shall look down from heaven. Psalm 85:11

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

The path of righteousness is the path that takes us toward God. If we have found God in our lives, the Holy Spirit will be there to help guide and direct us to become more righteous. If we are seeking righteousness; we will be more able to overcome our problems than by continuing to be self righteous. We will be too busy addressing our own faults and issues. We will increasingly be motivated to be good examples and good witness by how we live.

Prayer: Help me to walk the path of righteousness and to not be self righteous. 

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