To Attain Righteousness?

I used to think that the Christian life consisted of me doing everything I possibly could to try to please my God. To live a life righteous in His eyes. I struggled a lot. And by a lot, I mean to the point of tears sometimes. I would beat myself up because I couldn’t live up to the standard I thought God had for me. I was hung up on what I thought instead of giving that which God wanted. These were two very different things too.

I thought that I had to be perfect. And if I wasn’t perfect then I wasn’t good enough for God. It became so hard to focus on getting closer to God and forming a relationship with Him because I was trying so hard to be a good Christian. Slowly but surely I realized that it was pretty much impossible. And I hated it. Because I had devoted so much time to something that didn’t matter.

One needs only read Romans 3:10 to see that “None is righteous, no, not one.”

I had read that so many times. But still I deceived myself into believing that it applied to everyone but me. I still needed to try to be perfect because I would just feel so terrible if I didn’t do everything I could to be “righteous.”

I take a lot of things from music. A lot of my feelings about God come from the music I listen to. Whether the band is Christian or not. Whether there are words that go along with the music or not. I always want to learn. And as long as I have that outlook I usually find that I do learn. Usually I learn things I don’t want to. Things like grace. Unconditional love. Mercy. Hope. Strength in something or Someone other than myself. I know these are all amazing gifts that our God bestows upon us, but sometimes they’re hard to swallow. Sometimes we want to determine our own fate. Sometimes we want to have a hand in our rescues. We can’t just let God take care of things.

Now back to that whole music thing.
God uses it a lot to show me things.

There’s a song by Edison Glass that states simply enough, "You never expected perfection, all You want is my affection." This, specifically, is one of those hard things that I’ve learned from music. God accepts me, not because I can perform some circus trick like attempting to be righteous or God forbid, even try to be perfect, but because I love Him. I love Him because He first loved me. In human form God came down to this earth and lead a perfect life so I wouldn’t have to. He loved me so much that He not only lead a perfect life, but He died a perfect death as a perfect sacrifice so I could be considered righteous. Not righteous in the flesh, but positionally righteous before Him.

By being obedient to the instruction we receive and by loving our Father Creator, we are considered righteous. We’re going to mess it up from time to time. But that doesn’t mean a thing. He just wants us. Not the great things we can do. Just us. Us and us alone. And then, just as James 2:23 says about Abraham, who “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” we too are considered as such. We don’t have to strive to attain righteousness. It is a gift given freely for believing.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.
And God Bless you all.

-Brandon Whitt

Guest Writer