Yesterday, I talked about living a life of righteousness which involves more than just following a set of rules and checking off a list of requirements. A life of righteousness comes from a pure heart.
When I read Matthew 5:21-6:4, I see that idea continuing and advice on how it should be played out in our life.
The law teaches us to not murder and it teaches an eye for an eye when seeking retribution for a wrong done to us. However, Jesus wants more from us. Jesus teaches us not to be hateful, angry, or insulting. Instead, we should seek reconciliation and forgiveness. This applies to our friends and to our enemies.
The law forbids adultery, but Jesus teaches a lustful heart is evil. We should avoid things that lead to lust, if we want to live a righteous life and have a pure heart.
Jesus also condemned those who practice spirituality and charity to impress others. Doing good to bolster your sense of self-pride, will not win any points with God. Jesus wants us to do good out of a sense of love and compassion.
Living a life of righteousness is more than behaving a certain way when others can see us and it is more than just following a list of requirements. Living a life of righteousness starts in the person’s heart and then it is demonstrated through their actions.