How does your righteousness compare with that of those around you? If you attempted to answer this question then you have joined in a dangerous game that will have no victors. Anytime we compare ourselves by ourselves, we will always come out smelling like a rose. In fact, if the standard for righteousness was how we measured up against others then we might rightly say that the “righteous standard” is always open to change. Paul said to the Corinthian believers, “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” 2 Corinthians 10:18.
Unfortunately for many in Christendom, the name of the game is to just stay a few steps behind the world. That way when their lives are placed under the microscope of scrutiny they can say, “But at least we are more righteous than they.” Habakkuk tried to pull this off when he found out that God was going to use the Chaldeans to judge His own people. He asked how God could hold His tongue, “…when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” Habakkuk 1:13b
Many believers fail to recognize that God is the standard for righteousness and since Malachi 3:6 says that God does not change that means the standard for righteousness is unmoveable. As the world moves further away from God and we are content to simply remain a few steps behind them then we must conclude that we too are moving away from God.
Genesis 7:1 is a very powerful verse that speaks to this problem. It says, “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” The standard of righteousness has always been God and never how we stand up against others. The world will try to convince you to live your life constantly measuring yourself by others. Instead, your life ought to mirror the righteous standard of God. This means that the world should be moving away from you and, as you cling to God’s righteous standard, the longer you live the further apart you should become.