And His Righteousness

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 NASB)

It’s interesting that Jesus separately emphasized seeking God’s righteousness when teaching his followers not to worry about how our needs will be met.

Righteousness, here, means justification or a state of being approved.

I admit that I have often found my righteousness, my personal sense that I’m OK, in how well my needs are met: the amount of money in my bank account, my house, clothes, my level of performance at work, or the way I think people perceive me.

These things are good on their own, but when we begin to measure ourselves by them we give them permission to tell us who we are. If we are OK. If we are…righteous. Even as Jesus’s followers, why is it so easy to remain in this idolatrous identity crisis?

It’s not that we cognitively believe that earthly things spiritually justify us. It’s that most of us have created an unnatural and unhelpful separation between our spiritual justification in Jesus and the emotional justification we mistakenly get from the daily mechanics of our day to day perceived success or failure.

Here Jesus asks me to remove my sense of justification from lesser things and to find my righteousness in his.

The only way to measure up is to be hidden in him.

Perhaps this is the secret Paul wrote about:

“I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Phillipians 4:12-13 MSG)

July 9, 2011