Living in Righteousness

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)

Many counseling problems result when someone begins to live unrighteously. I am not sure how many people know what it looks like to, as Peter says, "live to righteousness." 

Living to righteousness could also mean living a life that glorifies God. Please understand that it is impossible to glorify God apart from the enabling of the Holy Spirit. This kind of living does not originate with you, but is a result or a desire that comes from your union with Jesus Christ (Psalm 37:4).  God causes your desires to become the desires He has for you. Again, this is not something you can conjure up or make happen apart from Him, it is a result of Christ in you

Practically speaking, the primary way a Christian learns to live to righteousness is by obeying the commands of Scripture. Reading it and memorizing it are of little value if you don't intend to obey it! I meet women all the time who have sat under years of good Bible teaching, yet cannot understand that their lives are in shambles because they do nothing with what they have learned! 

People who are concerned with living in righteousness are those who honor their word. Being a person of your word has become difficult it seems, for commitments and vows are broken all the time in our world. These days, even the most sacred of vows, the wedding covenant is easily tossed aside in favor of fulfilling the wicked desires of the heart. Be a woman of your word by being a woman of His Word! 

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 5:37 (ESV) 

Another issue relating to the tongue is to be committed to speaking the truth.  Lying used to be considered a serious sin issue, but not any more in some circles! Even the terminology for lies has changed to make it "less sinful." Now lies are untruths, mistakes, verbal mishaps, and evasions.

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19 (ESV)

It is never wrong to speak the truth.  You must be tactful in truth telling, being careful to be loving and kind even when you must say difficult things (Ephesians 4:15).   I once had a friend who dubbed me "Truth Talking Woman" because of my strong stand on this issue, and that is an honor I cherish. 

Living in righteousness also means to hate the idols of the heart that are revealed through your other sinful habits.  The more time you spend in communion with the Lord through prayer and the Word the more you will see the sin that lingers in your heart.  Many women tell me that the closer they walk with the Lord the worse they feel about themselves. This is because as we begin to view ourselves through spiritual glasses and turn the focus on the heart, many of the sinful thoughts, beliefs, and desires we prefer to shove into the darkness are exposed by the light of the Lord.  This is a good thing regardless of how it feels. 

Confession and repentance are the answer to the sins that you become aware of. This too is an aspect of living in righteousness. It is cleaning the inside of the cup and refusing to live in hypocrisy.  These are not always comfortable things in process, but oh how wonderful it is to walk in the newness of life! 

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NASB) 

Take some time today away from the busyness of your life and meditate on this posting. Examine yourself. Do you live in the righteousness you have been placed into in Christ?