We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Many of us have heard these words from the U.S. Declaration of Independence at least once in our lifetimes—words written so eloquently and evidencing much spiritual truth. It is true that in the sight of God we were all created equal, “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28 NIV). Also, through Christ we were granted the right to eternal life (John 3:16) and freedom through God’s Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17). What we were not created to do, however, is to simply pursue happiness. Although God does not intend for us to live a miserable life, God calls us to something greater than the pursuit of happiness. God desires that we pursue righteousness! “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God; and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33 KJV); “Seek the Lord…Seek righteousness, seek humility” (Zephaniah 2:3 NIV); “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord…” (Isaiah 51:1 NIV).
Today, I encourage you to pursue righteousness and not happiness. After all, God has already promised that if we seek his righteousness, all other things including happiness shall come (Matthew 6:33). Below are three reminders that I hope will guide you in your pursuit of righteousness:
1. Pursuing Righteousness means that we are pursuing Christ. Through scripture we learn that Christ is our righteousness (Jeremiah 33:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV). Therefore, we pursue righteousness when we follow after Him who is righteousness.
2. Our relationship with Christ makes us righteous before God. One of the benefits of salvation is that we are imputed righteousness and placed in right relationship with God. Pursuing righteousness therefore requires that we accept Christ as our Savior. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24 NIV).
3. The righteousness that we receive through Christ allows us to stand bold and victorious when we are faced with hard times. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:10; 14 NIV).
Thank You for being our Savior and our Righteousness. Help us to pursue righteousness by learning first to follow You. Forgive us for the times that we have pursued something other than that which is within Your will. We thank You and bless You for Your loving kindness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pursue righteousness in Christ Jesus. Seek to follow Him daily and know that it is through His righteousness that you can stand boldly against the enemy but more importantly in the presence of the True and Living God.
Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)