Today I have been studying the Bible book of First John. This was one of three letters that he wrote (the other two are much shorter – this one goes on and on for a few pages!).
I have noticed as I am reading, that John seems to be talking a lot about being righteous. The Greek word (the language the New Testament of the Bible was written in) for practicing righteousness is paired with loving one another (I John 3:10).
I know that I used to tell my children to always “do what is right”. Often that just meant, “follow my rules.” Of course, the implication is that I have a solid foundation in understanding what is right and wrong.
For many of us, that foundation has been cemented in the idea of doing what our society considers to be the most honorable thing to do (and that is most often codified in our laws). When societal norms change we adjust our idea of righteousness.
Which is where a Christian finds the most struggle. The honorable thing for us is not expected to change. John puts down the foundation that loving one another is righteousness. Jesus answers the question of the laws that codify the honorable thing to do by saying “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Where does that lead? Of course, that is the big question. It does not lead to selfishness, accumulation for our own sake, stealing and lying, adultery, slander, malice, and a whole bunch of other behaviours that degrade others, disregarding others as made in the image of God. I wonder if it also has to do with manners, and chivalry and other proactive approaches to enhancing others’ lives?
Some of my meandering thoughts for the day!