I thought I was doing so good


God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)

What is justice? As you might well imagine, this term can be quite different depending on the circumstances observed or encountered by the individual you are asking. For a great many, justice is 'situational' - it depends upon the circumstances and the individuals involved. Have you ever shown grace to someone for something and then been harsh on another when they do the same thing? Was that justice? Not likely, but what made the difference in the way you treated them? Was it your mood, the other stuff happening, or perhaps someone that was watching you at that moment? With God, justice is consistent - not dependent upon who's watching, what other 'stuff' is happening - justice is just another word for integrity - God manifests integrity in all his dealings.

How do we get to the place of moral consistency in our lives? The place of integrity that God models is our aim, but how do we get from where we are with all our inconsistency to the place where we are consistently upright in our attitude and actions? We are to pursue kindness, truth, and all things wise, but we don't always act kind, live in truth, or make smart decisions. If we want to become more consistent, we have to do the things that lead to consistency. I am trying to maintain good heart health, so I am watching my saturated fats, taking a lipid-lowering agent, and get exercise every day - even when I don't feel like it. One thing I have learned is that we rarely 'feel like' being consistent. In fact, we find all kinds of excuses to avoid it! What we try to do ourselves in terms of being 'righteous' (good, sincere, consistent, and upright) is nothing more than good works that boast about our 'self-righteousness'. What we need to remember is that self-righteousness was actually pointed out as worthless just a few verses later.

We can 'hunger and thirst' for a whole lot of things - some are worth the pursuit, while others just get us even further down the 'self-righteousness' path. The riches of this world are nothing compared to those God gives. The honor or fame we could seek in career are nothing compared to the honor God gives his kids. The pleasures we seek today might actually be okay, but there are times when our focus is on nothing more than what brings us pleasure. In the end, all these things will fail. The more we pursue time with God, time in his Word, and time with other believers, the more we will be challenged to live justly - to do away with our self-righteous acts and embrace the actions of God's righteousness being worked out in our lives. Consistency is a moment-by-moment thing - never dependent upon the circumstances or our feelings. The more we seek God's help to respond in obedience rather than because we 'feel like it', the more consistent our walk will become. Just sayin!

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