TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 2 Timothy 2:22
Some say there are two types of righteousness. The first is the one I have been discussing—the type that’s given to us. This type is often called imputed righteousness. When Jesus, the truly righteous being, suffered the full weight of sin on the cross, He made truly sinful beings like us righteous. The second is a righteousness we pursue and can develop. Maybe these are two different types of righteousness, but I like to think of them as two sides of the same coin.
The gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ should compel us to seek righteousness in our lives. Alternately, we can only seek it if we have first received it from God. These are closely connected concepts—they must not be separated from one another.
The apostle Paul encourages his young protégé Timothy to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Those who seek the Lord with sincerity and a pure heart will do two things, according to Paul. First, they will flee youthful passions. The power of the flesh tugs at people of all ages, but the young face unique temptations to give into sinful passions. Paul reminds us that being young is no excuse for satisfying ungodly desires—young and old alike are called to run from behaviors that will bring destruction to their lives!
Second, those who seek the Lord will pursue righteousness, along with faith, love, and peace. Though we are made righteous through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, righteousness is also a lifestyle we’re called to chase after. We run away from sinful passions and we run towards attitudes and behaviors that reflect the righteous character of God. And while fulfilling sinful passions leads to sorrow, pursuing righteousness leads to deep satisfaction and joy. The psalmist says, “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:3). So righteousness is not only something that’s been ascribed to us. It’s also something that we do. And if we commit ourselves to doing righteousness, the psalmist says we will be blessed.
Today I will…seek a righteous lifestyle. I will aim to be more godly in my thoughts, my attitudes, and my behaviors. My senses will be heightened to the temptations that Satan places before me. I will run away from the tug of my flesh, and run towards the way of righteousness.