‘…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.’ 1 Timothy 6.11
Righteousness can sound off-putting as we tend to think of it in terms of how good we are and whether or not we sin. However, righteousness is different to simply being good. It is about how God sees us, rather than how we see ourselves.
If it is true that God loves you so much that he adopted you as his very own child, and gave Jesus to die for you to forgive your sins, then how do you think God sees you? ‘The love of God’ – a phrase often spoken and sung about – is a concept that we are called to take seriously. God’s love is not simply a nice phrase or a comforting thought, it is real - so real that Jesus suffered greatly for us.
Pursuing righteousness is about earnestly seeking to capture a sense of God’s love
and passion for us. This means deliberately shutting the door to any feelings that somehow we might be exempt, that God’s love and passion are for everyone else apart from us. To think like this is to imply that the death of Jesus was inadequate and that God has to do more to reveal his love. When put like this it does sound ridiculous! Such feelings are so alien to what the Bible teaches that we have to learn to shut the door to them and pursue the opposite - that we are personally loved by God; that our sins, as well as the sins of the world, were paid for by Jesus; and that God looks at us with love, tenderness and care. Let’s pursue this!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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