Righteousness does include the idea of right standing. In other words, we receive right standing with God through Jesus Christ because the barrier of sin’s penalty has been removed. However…
Far too many Christians have become “reductionist” on the subject of righteousness. The result is that it has become more important to “be right” than be righteous.
Jesus taught that the most important priority in life was to learn and exemplify one’s citizenship in God’s Kingdom by bringing the “acts of righteousness” to their sphere of influence in the earth.
Righteousness Is About Right Actions
Being right is about specific opinions as to what is right according to one’s own interpretation of the Scriptures. Being righteous is about the personal actions that exemplify God’s righteousness. God’s righteousness is not static. It’s active. God’s righteousness in the famous passage about “Seeking first the Kingdom of God AND His Righteousness, is an unswerving active commitment to making things right…as they are in heaven.
Righteousness = Justice
Many people don’t realize that the word righteousness can also be translated with the word, Justice. In other words, a commitment to making circumstances Just/Right for individuals.
The word/power/virtue known as God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is a diamond with many brilliant facets.
Having right standing (position) with God is important, of course. But, being righteous as a point of action that mirrors God’s righteousness is most important if Christians wish to make a Kingdom of God impact in the earth.
Being right has power. Unfortunately it’s power is most often demonstrated as a human sword that divides relationships. And, that is clearly not right in God’s eyes.
Being righteous has the power to bring to bear the character and quality of God’s Kingdom in one’s environment and sphere of influence. It’s often the “harder” way that often takes a great deal of faith and patience, but it has the power to actually change things for the good.
Choose Righteousness over Rightness today. The fruit of “Rightness” is too often bitter or flavorless. Whereas the fruits of Righteousness is sweet and full of flavor.