Monday, October 17, 2011

True righteousness

For this digital painting, I wanted to illustrate how I feel when I worship with others. 
Sometimes it's so powerful, it feels like His light is surrounding us.  This is a drawing
of how it was to have communion in the California Redwood Forest.   I'm hoping you
can see the little people on the right : )  The trees are so huge!
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "righteous,"  I get a bit nervous.  Even before I became a Christian, I worried about what I would become.  Someone with perfect hair who wore dresses all the time?  I remember the verses in Romans that say,

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God."
Romans 3:10-11 NIV

I think of being righteous as being perfect, never sinning.  I fail!  But when I read on in the chapter, the Apostle Paul writes,
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:22-24 NIV

Our faith in Jesus, is what makes us righteous.  Faith is not a feeling, it's a choice.  Not our actions!  Shew!  And I'm happy to say that even in blue jeans and a t-shirt we are still Christians.  In fact, in college, we went on a hike and participated in communion with a can of soda (pop on the west coast) and potato chips.  The Church was made of tall redwood trees, birds sang in the background.  It was a very blessed moment I'll never forget.  Jesus wants us to come to Him just as we are.  The interesting thing about faith is that the more it grows, the better my actions become.

Proverbs 10

Proverbs 10 gives a contrast between those with faith (righteousness), and those who are foolish or wicked.  I highlighted the parts about the faithful in blue, so it would be easier to see the contrast.  Just reading the blue, gives me great hope today.  Reading the black sounds so true and sad.
1 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
2 Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4 Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
7 The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.
14 The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
16 The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.
17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.
19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.
23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.
24 What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.
25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.
26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so are sluggards to those who send them.
27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
30 The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land.
31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.


  1. These proverbs sure encourage us to become better. It sounds like an amazing experience you had having communion amongst the redwoods! I have had many communions, but can't really single out the memory of any I guess it's not what you are wearing or how fancy the church, or whether it was a loaf or wafers; but what matters most is the condition of the heart and it sounds like your heart was really in it.
    Excellent post.
    ~God bless you~

  2. Hi Karen,
    Great post! I cannot be righteous on my own because I am a sinner. I am so thankful Jesus gives us His righteousness.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and following. Sorry I did not get back to you sooner, I was on vacation and was not online. I will also be following your blog.


  3. Thanks Lisa and Ken- I'm grateful for His righteousness too : ) I could never do it on my own.

    God bless!

  4. We know that we cannot be made righteous on our own... Only through the grace and love of Jesus. Thanks Karen your post was great! :D

  5. Love this one and love those trees. The verses from Proverbs are so good for praying the Word for me today. J.