Proverbs 21:21

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

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There are two keys to your future and life – righteousness and mercy. If you love simple goals and instructions, then here is an easy, two-step approach to please God and men.

Do you want to find fulfillment and honor for your life, with both based in righteousness? Humble yourself before God’s word by Solomon and learn the wisdom from heaven. The rewards are great, just as stated, and they are paid both now and in the world to come.

Most cannot define or reconcile these terms, let alone live them. Some think being right is more important than mercy; others think being merciful is more important than being right. But true wisdom balances the two to please God in every situation. Though striving to do what is right in God’s sight at all times, you should be eager to show mercy to those hurting you or needing you. Let righteousness and mercy combine to make you perfect.

What is your life? On average you will live about 73 years, and then you will die. If you are 24, you are one-third the way there; if 48, two-thirds; if 75, then living on borrowed time. A successful life is a fulfilling and satisfying one, consistently doing what is right, and receiving honor from God and men. A successful death is one that obtains eternal life, a crown of righteousness, and honor from God the instant after leaving your body. These are fantastic rewards for the effort of following after righteousness and mercy.

Assess your life! Have you found your purpose? Is your life fulfilling, rewarding, and satisfying? Has your life been a success? Has righteousness been the cornerstone of all your dealings? Do all that know you profess your integrity? Have you been honored by God and men? If not, which of three errors have you made in your life? Either you have not sought righteousness, not sought mercy, or not sought both of them.

What is righteousness? And how do you seek it? Righteousness is thinking, speaking, and acting in agreement with God’s standards of right and wrong. It is doing what is just, right, and virtuous, as defined by God. The boundaries and definitions of righteousness are clearly revealed in the Bible (Pr 8:8; Ps 119:40,128,172; II Tim 3:16-17). All you have to do is totally humble yourself before God’s word and do it (Jas 1:19-27; 3:17-18).

What is mercy? And how do you seek it? Mercy is compassion and forgiveness toward those in your power with no right to your help or kindness. Mercy ignores the offences of others and does not press claims against them. Mercy sees those in need and provides for them. Mercy is clearly defined and illustrated in the Bible (Pr 11:17; 14:21; Deut 22:6-7; Ps 37:21; Matt 18:21-22; Jas 2:13). All you have to do is show it (Luke 10:25-37).

Do you follow after righteousness and mercy? Aggressively? Consistently? Fervently? The reward is only for diligent seekers, so do not rest on feeble efforts in the past (Heb 11:6). Hear the words of the prophet Micah describe what should be your goals, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

Jesus said, If you will lose your life for Him, you will find it; but if you seek to save your life, you will lose it (Matt 16:25). Sacrificing your desires to please God will bring the greatest peace and pleasure in life. Godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:6). Give up your thoughts this very day and pursue righteousness and mercy at all times. You will find God’s favor in this life, but you will receive much more in the world to come.