Beside the Well
I am currently reading my way through Jeremiah Burroughs sermons on the Beatitudes. Today, the topic was hungering and thirsting after righteousness. It reminded me of a simple study I had done on the benefits of righteousness found solely in the book of Proverbs. Bear with me as I record that study for you.
We are to sow it because it gives a sure reward. Proverbs 11:18
It brings conscientiousness. Proverbs 12:10
It brings excellence. Proverbs 12:26
It brings life. Proverbs 12:28
It will keep our way. Proverbs 13:6
It brings favor. Proverbs 14:9
It brings hope. Proverbs 14:32
It exalts. Proverbs 14:34
It brings treasure. Proverbs 15:6
It brings wisdom. Proverbs 15:28
As I thought more on the subject I began to realize being righteous means different things to different people. Some define it as self-righteousness, pride, or a superior, judgmental attitude. They want nothing to do with that, and neither do I. Some see it as an old religious word with no bearing on today, but though the quality is becoming more rare, it is still vital and beneficial. I thought of many synonyms that create a wider picture of righteousness. Words like goodness, decency, integrity, morality, purity, or honesty, these all help us look at the different angles of being righteous.
I don’t know about you, but these are all things I strive to attain in my life. I want to be right. Not right in the sense of being first or best, but right in the fact that I am making good choices, treating people right, standing for what is right, and keeping my life in check. It breaks my heart when I fail.
The benefits listed from my study in Proverbs challenge me to try even harder. They are so numerous, why would I not want to have them? Why would I ever choose a life of unrighteousness when righteousness offers such reward? I am forced to look at my life and examine places where my integrity might be slipping or where dishonesty has crept in. It creates a hunger and thirst for more righteousness in my life.
The promise of the beatitude is filling. The one that hungers and thirsts after righteousness will be filled. That took my memory to one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture: Proverbs 24:4 “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
A life filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Truly, that is what I desire and I believe the pursuit of righteousness is the path to fulfillment of these promises.