Put on the breastplate of righteousness
A friend of mine had a big business. I was surprised to see his business growing from a small one-man job to a big organisation employing hundreds of people. One day I went to see him and saw that not much was going on. No trucks driving in and out. The people were just sitting around and there was a deathly silence. Nobody knew whether they would still have a job the next day.
I sat with him for a long time. He talked a lot and slowly but surely it came to me: His whole business was built on contracts with money changing hands under the counter. He “bought” every contract. That’s the way it worked in his industry, he tried to defend himself.
Not long after that he went under.
The second piece of clothing Paul sees through the bars is the breastplate that has to prevent the enemy’s arrows from reaching the soldier. It is difficult for the soldier to go to war and try and defend all the time. He won’t be able to do much. Therefore, we are introduced to the breastplate: 14… having put on the breastplate of righteousness (Modern English Version).
Do you know that the devil sends arrows and swords in your direction every day to try and pierce your heart? When we put on the breastplate of right and righteousness, those arrows trying to push us off the road cannot get to us.
I looked up the meaning of righteousness. The following words are used to describe righteousness: goodness, virtue, uprightness, decency, integrity, worthiness, rectitude, probity, morality, ethicalness, high-mindedness, justice, honesty, honour, blamelessness, guiltlessness, irreproachability, sinlessness, saintliness, purity, nobility, noble-mindedness, piety, etc.
Wow, that’s a lot. Almost impossible to achieve! But this is exactly what we should strive for, because if we live like this the devil’s arrows can fly all around, there’s no chance of being hit by them.
People must know that we cannot be bribed and that we stand for the truth and righteousness. We treat everybody with dignity and our integrity can never be questioned. You know, our way of doing things should be the benchmark. The way we treat other people must be an example for others. They must strive to act like us!
If this is not our point of departure in life, we’ll be trying to save our wickets all the time. We’ll end up in the wrong place every time and we’ll be in trouble. Like my friend who dealt in contracts under the counter. How can you ask God to bless your business if you are dishonest? That is to take off the breastplate that should protect your heart. Then your most important organ will be exposed and can be injured by the enemy.
We must be honest in everything we do, because then we can bring everything we plan and do to God. Proverbs put it as follows in Proverbs 3:6-8Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!
When we make righteousness our motto, we will be so happy. Yes, we’ll be very strong and will be able to enjoy everything along the way. Don’t you long for a life that?
Are you struggling with all the arrows flying in your direction?
Are you tired of falling and getting up, falling and getting up?
What does a life characterized by righteousness look like?
Yes, Lord, I want to live like that. Please show me where I’m failing with righteousness and please help me to live like that. Amen