Sometimes people talk as if obeying God was only hard.
The fact is most of us are pretty good at seeing the difficulties in living a righteous life and the benefits that comes from compromise.
Especially when we are being tempted.
That’s part of how sin has broken us. Even now that we are Christians, when we really want to do the wrong thing, it can be so hard for us to believe that doing what is right, is best.
And the thing is, it really is.
There are many positives to obeying God! God’s not unkind. Righteousness is not only right, it is good for you. And over the next couple of posts, I want to point out four ways in particular that Proverbs tells us that righteousness benefits us.
Righteousness simplifies your life.
There are several Proverbs that make this point, but let me just show you one.
It is Proverbs 4:18.
Solomon tells us that righteousness is like a light.
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of the dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.”
You can imagine having to walk somewhere you have never been before.
Maybe you are in a forest and you have to get through the forest to the other side. You know what will make that walk so difficult?
If it is dark outside and you can’t see, the easiest little walk will begin to feel incredibly frightening and difficult. Especially if there are obstacles in the way. When it is dark, they wouldn’t even need to be big obstacles to get you to trip. A small little hole could bring you down when you can’t see.
On the other hand, if the sun begins to rise as you are walking, and light starts breaking through, everything becomes easier and easier.
It’s not hard to avoid a little rock when you can see.
And Solomon is making that contrast between self-centered, don’t care about what God wants living and the righteous, let me put God’s will above my own and let me disadvantage myself for other people’s good lifestyle.
What happens when you set after righteousness and start structuring your life after God’s Word and you begin thinking carefully about how to put yourself out for the good of others is that your life becomes more and more clear, you can see more easily, the way you should go lights up in front of you, but when you walk down that selfish, me first path, what you will find is that your life becomes darker and darker and more and more complicated.
You see this in marriage counseling.
All the time.
I mean, marriage. You would think how complicated can marriage be? Here you have got two people who say they love each other, and how hard and confusing can it be for them to live together? And yet if you ever talk to someone on the edge of divorce, you know that it can be incredibly confusing and you sort of wonder how is that amount of confusion possible in something that should be so beautiful? And it’s this, self-centered me first thinking that makes life so dark so you can’t even see the step in front of you and a little obstacle can bring you down; where righteousness on the other hand, is like the light, it is like morning coming after a long night and you can start seeing again.
Righteousness helps you in that it simplifies your life.
Which means, if you want to take some of the obstacles out of your way this year and make things clearer in pretty much every area, just keep asking yourself these two questions, how can I be obedient to God right now and how can I look out for the best of the person I am dealing with?