Armor of God: Breastplate of Righteousness

“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place”

-Ephesians 6:13-14

When we are putting on our armor, we have to make sure that it is on straight and that everything is fastened securely, otherwise it won’t function as it is intended.  The second piece of armor that Paul mentions is the Breastplate of Righteousness. 

If we thought that strapping on the belt of truth was difficult, fastening this breastplate of righteousness becomes even more difficult.  I mean after all, what is righteousness anyway? 

When we look at the Bible and the context that it usually appears in the only thing we can say for sure is that it is the opposite of wickedness.  I feel this is so, because often when you find talk of righteousness, it is contrasted with wickedness. 

If we look at Psalm 1 we see:

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

These verses give us a good idea of what being righteous is all about.  The psalmist talks about following God’s law in general, and more specifically, working on staying away from sin, and gossip.

What is God’s law?  It is a set of instructions or lessons that God gave to the ancient Hebrews on how to live life.  It is found in the first five books of the Bible and expand on throughout the rest.  In general terms, it discusses how to live life in a way that is compassionate and loving towards family, community and creation. 

Maintaining righteousness isn’t an easy thing.  Sure, most of us have the big sins covered, but we tend to fall into the trap of overlooking the little things.  I know I have told little white lies.  Sometimes bigger ones.  It is hard to avoid gossip and even harder to resist the temptation to listen to it.  That homeless person on the street or in front of the store, tempting to treat them like then are invisible and go about life taking care of my wants and desires.

Do any of these traps sound familiar? 

I know all of us are working on improving our righteousness.  We wouldn’t be sharing this journey together or talking about this subject if we weren’t right? 

This week I need to keep up, making sure that belt of truth stays on tight, but I also need to work on straightening my breastplate of righteousness.  I need to start by taking a step back and looking at my life.  Where can I do better and what I can I do to improve it?   If I am going to battle with the adversary, I need to make sure these things are in proper working order. 

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and to share in this journey with me.  I hope you will join me in battle.  Please, take a few moments and share your thoughts about your journey in the comment section.  May you have a blessed week!

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