In the relentless pursuit of success, we often overlook the secret key that guarantees a lasting achievement: righteousness. The book of Proverbs 14:34 (KJV) reminds us that “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Here in this study, we would embark on a journey to understand how righteousness forms the bedrock of lasting success, exploring its impact on individuals, communities, and societies, all anchored on the unchanging truths of God’s word. This is the message that every Christian must uphold and commit to heart in order to generate great exploits upon the earth.
Righteousness is characterized by moral uprightness and conformity to God’s standards. Righteousness is the nature of God imputed in us when we confess Jesus as the Lord and Saviour. We were declared righteous the moment we give our lives to Jesus. This is the new birth and which usher us into a new world of holiness.
Righteousness possesses an extraordinary power that extends beyond our actions. It possesses the potential to elevate entire nations and ennobles societies—a principle inherent in the very foundation of creation itself. God ordained righteousness as a platform, a springboard for elevating a Christian.
Unlocking Lasting Impact: The Story of Joseph
To unravel how important righteousness is, let’s examine the life of Joseph as recorded in the book of Genesis. Amidst betrayal and adversity, Joseph’s unyielding commitment to God and to righteousness propelled him from the pit to the palace. His story is a testament to righteousness as not just a personal virtue but as a catalyst for distinction and elevation, as we witness in Genesis 39:2-4 (NIV):
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.”
At a point in his journey, he encountered Potiphar’s wife’s sexual advances which landed him in prison. Despite this pressure, his resolve never wavers, he said, …how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Gen 39:9 KJV). Joseph recognized sin or unrighteousness as a great wickedness and refused to succumb to it.
In this day and time, for us to experience the kind of success that Joseph had, we must see every form of unrighteousness as wickedness and a sin against God. We must not be comfortable with any form of sinful act.
Daniel’s Testimony of Righteousness
Another proof of righteousness’s power is evident in the life of Daniel. In the foreign land of Babylon rife with conflicting values, Daniel’s unwavering commitment to righteousness set him apart. Daniel 1:8 (ESV) reads“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.”
His dedication caught the attention of not just men but God Himself, God gave him favour in the site of the king and he was found to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm (Daniel 1:20).
Daniel’s story exemplifies how righteousness positions believers for impact in any environment. You can’t stand for God and fall down before men. Whenever you uphold the standard of righteousness, you position yourself for divine intervention. God is always pleased to come to the aid of those who stand for Him.
The Warnings of Sin: The Downfall of David
While righteousness uplifts, sin casts reproach. The life of King David serves as a somber reminder of this truth. His moral lapse with Bathsheba sets off a chain of consequences that reverberated through his family and nation. David’s story illustrates the protective nature of righteousness against the corrosive influence of sin, as evident in 2 Samuel 11-12 (NIV).
David’s act of unrighteousness affected his family, in that his children were rebellious.
Building the Foundation of Righteousness
It is important to realize that righteousness is not built on the good works of men, it imputed by God. The Bible says that all our good acts are like a dirty robe before God (Isaiah 64:6 BBE). Constructing a foundation of righteousness commences with acknowledging our need for God’s transformative grace and forgiveness, as Romans 3:22 (NIV) reminds us: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
We need God to change our nature from inside. This comes through faith in the finished work of grace. Also, aligning our values with the Scripture and making intentional choices cultivates a character deeply rooted in righteousness. This character influences not only our personal lives but also radiates outward, impacting those we encounter.
Finally, enduring success isn’t constructed upon transient achievements but upon righteousness. Righteousness, as a foundational principle, uplifts nations and sets individuals apart. The stories of Joseph, Daniel, and the cautionary tale of David serve as reminders that righteousness isn’t a passive attribute but an intentional choice with far-reaching consequences. As we navigate the pursuit of success and strive for lasting impact, let us remember that a life anchored in righteousness is a life destined to stand the test of time.