I want to be righteous. And right. Maybe not in that order. Job, like us, had too little an understanding of the relationship of the Potter and the clay. We often want to justify ourselves even more than we desire for God to be just and right in our lives…
1 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.
When we are righteous in our own eyes, people will stop speaking to us about important things we need to hear. I have seen this with certain parents of kids in the past. I have been aware of things that I would have wanted to hear about if it was my own child, yet the parents in question were so righteous in their own minds, they wouldn’t accept any information which implied that their angel had a cracked halo.
I also know some folks whose first answer when something goes wrong is to offer all the reasons others caused the issue. It’s never them. They play the blame game instead.
Now, it’s easy to give these examples, because they are about other people, yet it’s much harder to reflect on my own life and admit that I do not want to be wrong.
I want to be righteous. And right. Maybe not in that order. Being right is often more important than being righteous. Being right is also often more important than being in right relationship.
Now Job was a bit unique because in his case, he actually hadn’t done anything wrong. And so his righteousness was in his own mind and in God’s perspective. He didn’t think, however, that it was right for God to do what he was doing (or allowing) in his life. In fact, Job, like us, had too little an understanding of the relationship of the potter and the clay.
If he had only said, I am open to understanding what I have done to cause my calamity, and I am committed and invested in living righteously before God. God may choose to allow all sorts of things in my life, yet I will continue to follow him and praise him because his grace is sufficient for me… Job would have been on the right track.
We want to justify ourselves even more than we desire for God to be just in our lives.
Righteous indignation. What a trip wire.
How’s your humility before God and your neighbour? Are you hell-bent on being right, or committed to honouring the just and righteous God who holds you in his hands?