Morning Musings: Proverbs 21:26

“All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.”  (ESV)

Being righteous doesn’t mean being perfect.  That is certainly the goal, but the two aren’t the same thing.  The righteous person still has desires for all kinds of different things, many of them things which are not good for them.  As Solomon writes here, he craves and craves all day long.  What the righteous person does do is deny those cravings for the sake of others.  He learns to say no to what he wants in order that he might be able to give to those around him.  She is in control of her desires in order leverage her resources for the benefit of people who do not have similar access to them.

This really is the difference between the righteous and the unrighteous at every point.  Those who are joyful don’t cease having hard feelings, they learn to see them through the lens of what God has done and will do and are thus joyful.  People who are at peace do not thus no longer face any troubles or unrest, they look through the lens of God’s sovereign presence and control over all things and are thus not bothered by them.

Growing in the character of Christ in this life has as its goal becoming perfected in His image.  But this does not happen over night or all at once.  Our sinful nature is gradually diminished, destroyed, and washed away by the growing power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us.  Sanctification is a lifetime journey wherein we reflect the character of Christ more and more fully each day.  Setbacks are unfortunately often part of that journey, but the one who is committed to this path does not let these derail the process.  He gets back up with a heart of repentance and continues on the journey.  She receives the grace her heavenly Father offers and keeps pursuing Jesus.  If you stumble along the path, get up and keep at it.  You’ll have calls to leave it; you will crave and crave; but set these aside in favor of the bigger prize.

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