Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Righteous Man Falls

Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again

Yes, that verse is hideously out of context.

Yes, I'm OK with it.

This verse hit me a little bit ago while I was doing some research for another topic.

It hits me because I want to be the righteous man.

But I don't want to fall. Forget falling seven times (now is not the post for Biblical numerology), I don't even want to fall once.

I doubt many of us do.

We think being righteous means that we won't fall. That we won't mess up. That we'll have it all figured out.

That somehow we'll be able to hear perfectly from God and follow his will in everything, all the time. That we think things will go easily for us.

But then something happens.

And our faith gets shaken. Or we lose our previously held worldview because it just doesn't match up with the reality we experience. Or we question what we thought was God's will for our life and wonder how we got it wrong. Or wonder if we had it right and are now getting it wrong.

Or maybe we just do something dumb. A fight, an argument, a bitter discussion about something that didn't matter but we needed to prove ourselves right, so we willingly damaged a relationship with someone just to feel intellectually or morally superior.

Or we messed up. We knew the right choice, and we didn't do it. We went and did that same thing that we've struggled with, and have 'fallen for' so many times before. Each time saying it won't happen again, and it will be different in the future, and it isn't.

Or perhaps through our inaction, we see what has happened to someone else. Not necessarily something dramatic and drastic, but the realization of a lapsed relationship. Seeing people whom you used to be close to, and through time, circumstance, or attrition just no longer are. And you see them struggling. And you kick yourself for not being there for them to help them stand back up when they needed it. But for some reason, you still do little about it now...

We see ourselves falling down constantly.

I do.

And I want so very much to stop. I want to stand firm. I want to be stronger. I want to be righteous.

But being righteous has nothing to do with never falling.

It has everything to do with getting back up.