Righteousness Vs. Self-Righteousness

May 14, 1997
by Andrea Chapman

As teen-age rebellions go, I suppose this one is relatively mild: my daughter finds "our" church boring and prefers to attend worship service at quite a different church. Despite membership and active participation in our town's Ecumenical Council, despite reinforcing the validity of various forms of worship to my children, I can't deny that it hurt. I had just assumed that raising her in the faith of my childhood would be enough; all she needed to do was simply follow my example. Salvation, Grace, Truth, and Beauty would all be there without her having to struggle or look elsewhere. This wasn't supposed to happen. Oh, maybe, maybe for a marriage, after considerable thought, but certainly not while I'm involved in religious education at "our" church.

There is much comfort in the above verse. I am reminded that the path we are each to follow is for His Name's sake, not mine. The path is one of righteousness, not self-righteousness. The exhilaration of a restored soul must be experienced personally to be understood; it can't be handed down through the genes. Perhaps this is her path. I must trust that the Good Shepherd who would lay down His life for His sheep, leave His ninety and nine to seek out the lost one, become the gate through which sheep must pass for survival, will look after His little lamb as she finds her way Home. A Home where I am fairly certain there will be no denominations.

Prayer: Shepherd me, O Lord, beyond my wants, beyond the path of self-righteousness onto the path which bears Your Name, "…for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Amen. (Acts 4:12)

About the author:

Andrea Chapman
Lakeland, Florida, USA

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