The other part of this Beatitude’s phrase is for righteousness’ sake. We’re acting for a cause. We’re choosing a sacred and holistic motivation.
What, then, falls into the realm of being for righteousness’ sake? It’s the motivation in response to ‘Love God, and love thy neighbor as thyself. It’s all those cares and causes that focus on the equitable and sustainable wellbeing of all humans as well as the whole natural world (ie, Creation). For righteousness’ sake is the purpose that drives our choices and prompts our actions.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always point to being pure-of-heart in our motivations? If our righteousness’ sake was aimed at a faith-based objective? Being pure-of-heart, as discussed in an earlier passage in the Beatitudes, describes being whole-hearted and single-minded with a focus on ethical reasons underlying words and deeds.
Yet we’re human, and God knows, we aren’t perfect. We’re works in progress. We’re trying. Striving. Falling down. Stumbling. Then getting up and trying again.
So be compassionate with yourself, if you don’t feel like you’re always motivated for the right reason, or for the righteous reason, or for righteousness’ sake. Just know that we have an abundance of chances, with every choice and action, to do the next right thing. To incrementally work toward a righteous way of living and being. God will be with us all the way, the primal motivator underneath all the other causes we think of as being for righteousness’ sake. — Rev Gail
If you don’t have a righteous objective, eventually you will suffer. When you do the right thing for the right reason, the right result awaits. — Chin-Ning Chu
Seeking truth and goodness and righteousness is part of the quest for wisdom. The more this quest is part of our lives, the more vigilant we will be, and the more active will be our discipleship. — Joseph Prior
If I pursue righteousness, I will not attain righteousness; but if I give up on trying to be righteous and rather look to Christ by faith, righteousness will be produced in my life as a natural byproduct of my relationship with Him. — Ty Gibson
Challenge or Question: What righteous sakes —causes— show up as significant commitments in your life, as measured by your financial contributions or donations of time, energy, and attention?