“And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” (Luke 1:6)
How amazing would it be if God said this about you and me! How amazing would it be if this was what other people said when they saw us living our lives! After all, as we say in the catechism, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Our main goal in life should be to live in a way that brings glory and honor to God.
In our desire to be righteous before God, we are not to harbor pride in our hearts because of how we keep God’s law. We must remember that it is the righteousness of Christ that makes us righteous – without Him we are nothing.
Jesus didn’t come for people who already think they have it all together on their own, but for those who admit their need for a Savior. “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: –I desire mercy, not sacrifice.– For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ ” (Matthew 9:10-13)
We must not look around at others and have a condescending attitude, making ourselves feel more righteous because we don’t sin in the same way as someone else. “The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other men — swindlers, evil doers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:11-14)
When we come before God Almighty, Who sent His one and only Son to die as a sacrifice for our sins, we must bow before Him with an attitude of humility, grateful to Him for His work in our lives, not boasting and trusting in ourselves to earn any favor from God. Let us be found faithful in our righteousness that comes from the faithful righteousness of Jesus our Savior.