“Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
What does it mean to pursue “righteousness?”When we pursue righteousness we are going after, living daily a life that is pleasing to God. Our actions speak loudly to the world around us about what we believe about Christ. It speaks loudly to our relationship with Christ. If we are daily behaving in ways or saying things that are contrary to scripture, what are those around us thinking, not only are we embarrassing ourselves, but we are not being a good representation of the one who saved us.
When we “find life” we are discovering fundamental truths about ourselves, about our character. As we grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Christ and our relationship to him as his children, the Holy Spirit begins to grow us and change us to look more like Jesus. We discover that the things we used to do are not as attractive to us now. Maybe some sin that used to reign in our lives now seems unbearable, we cannot contemplate doing it again. We are made new, changed from within, we have “found life.”
So, now “honor”, what does it mean to have honor given to us? We hear many times about someone having an honor bestowed upon them for something they have done, we hear things like “You are an honor to our profession.” Maybe this person who received such words does a good job, with much integrity. Maybe we hear about someone who has died with honor. I am sure they were willing to give their lives for what they believed in, they were unwilling to compromise their integrity or truth. In other words, when honor is given it is given because the person has earned the respect of others by their behavior or their efforts in a particular field etc…We honor people in places of authority, because they have earned those places by either good and right behavior or good grades.
We receive these things by being called “children of God”. Once we become him we are given his righteousness, his life in us, his honor, not because we are something, but because he is all of these and more. True repentance and faith make us want to pursue a life that is Christ-like in all we do. We suddenly find ourselves wanting to please the one who has saved us from all our unrighteousness.
Jesus was driven by his love, He was moved because of the love he was willing to pour out. He was perfect and holy in every way. On our own, we are none of those things, but with Christ in us, we can daily be transformed into the image of Christ, we can daily do those things that please him. We may never know the impact our actions have had on those we are around and come in contact with. Maybe our honesty in dealing with someone will cause them to stop and think about Christianity in a positive light rather than a negative one, which is how much of the world sees it. Again, I am reminded that sometimes we are the only Bible someone reads.