What I long for
Tuesday, March 21, 2000

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
-- Romans 3:21-22, New International Version

    Righteousness, what a word.  It comes, and most of the time has a less than pleasant smell to it.  The word is too often used to connate someone's failures in the light of someone else's perfection.  Self-righteous.  That to me is a shame.
    Righteousness, as I understand it is a state or way of being that is given to us by God.  It is that point in our life when we want to do good.  Paul talks of the state he finds himself in, not doing that which he wants to, and doing those things he does not want to.  This, if you really do some self-examination, is where we all are.  But something wonderful come to us.  Grace.  We recognize this in ourselves, and ask God for help.  His response is to give us the strength and the motivation to live a life that is righteous.
    A song we sing with our youth really sums up our relationship to God and righteousness.  It makes a great prayer.

Righteousness is what I long for
Righteousness is what I need
Righteousness is what you want from me
Take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it
To yours, to yours, oh Lord.
 In Jesus' holy name I pray.