Have you seen this righteousness?

August 26, 2011


Bob Thune and Will Walker have put out a great study called The Gospel-Centered Life that I just had to share with you.

While the books lays out bunches of stellar tools and ideas, lesson two was especially poignant for me today.  In the section they ask, “What do you count on to give you a sense of ‘personal credibility’ (validity, acceptance, good standing)?”  Following the question, they offer some examples of counterfeit sources of justification we often look to besides Jesus:

JOB RIGHTEOUSNESS: I’m a hard worker, so God will reward me.

FAMILY RIGHTEOUSNESS: because I “do things right” as a parent, I’m more godly than parents who can’t control their kids.

THEOLOGICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS: I have good theology.  God prefers me over those who have bad theology.

INTELLECTUAL RIGHTEOUSNESS: I am a better read, more articulate, and more culturally savvy than others, which obviously makes me superior

SCHEDULE RIGHTEOUSNESS: I am self-disciplined and rigorous in my time management, which makes me more mature than others.

FLEXIBILITY RIGHTEOUSNESS: In a world that’s busy, I’m flexible and relaxed.  I always make time for others.  Shame on those who don’t!

MERCY RIGHTEOUSNESS: I care about the poor and disadvantaged the way everyone else should.

LEGALISTIC RIGHTEOUSNESS: I don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or date girls who do.  Too many Christians just aren’t concerned about holiness these days.

FINANCIAL RIGHTEOUSNESS: I manage money wisely and stay out of debt.  I’m not like those materialistic Christians who can’t control their spending.

POLITICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS: If you really love God, you’ll vote for my candidate.

TOLERANCE RIGHTEOUSNESS: I am open-minded and charitable toward those who don’t agree with me.  In fact, I’m a lot like Jesus that way!

Sure the list isn’t exhaustive, but man how I’ve taken refuge in these righteousnesses apart from Christ!

This small group study is available from New Growth Press in both the participant’s guide and a leader guide.  Check it out!

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One Response to “Have you seen this righteousness?”

  1. Karen Wulf Says:

    great post, very challenging. I think I saw myself in each category to one extent or another! Wretched one that I am!

    Jesus loves me, this I know… Jesus loves me, this I know… Jesus lives me, this I know… Jesus loves me, this I know…

    Lord, help me to love me and others like You do-and yes, I think the two are related (recognizing how Jesus is still loving me allows me to be able to accept others in a like manner)


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