Lord, protect us from the posturing and preening and publicity-seeking that accompany the “righteousness” that we bestow upon ourselves. Indeed, protect us from any thinking or acting that would attempt to correlate righteousness with personal goodness or with personal gain.
Instead, Lord, give us real righteousness—the righteousness that causes us to want to do right by you by doing right by other people. May our righteousness—our right relationship with you, which is a gift of your grace—show itself in the ways that we treat people who are in trouble or who are in pain or who are in shame or who are in a predicament.
Help us, Lord, to care about how it is and how it looks for other people more than we care about how it is and how it looks for us.
“Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly” (Matthew 1:19).