In Hot Pursuit

“I never made a mistake in my life. I thought I
did once, but I was wrong.”
This Charles Schultz quote has appeared in
many places and in many forms over the years.
It is clever and it is provocative, as are most
good quotes. In just a few words, Schultz drives
at the heart of a specific individual human trait.
That is, we love to be right. In addition, we
rarely (if ever) think we are wrong. In fact, when
we do happen to be wrong, we have a hard
enough time admitting it to ourselves without
others swooping in to point it out to us. In my
experience, most of us do not handle it well
when we are wrong. Similarly, many—if not
most —human beings do not handle it well
when we are right. To successfully navigate
either takes maturity. God knows that I have
personally stumbled on both ends of this
throughout my life.
Paul is clear about what it means to be right.
In short, being right is a gift that comes from
God through Jesus Christ. It is Christ who
“became to us” righteousness (1 Co 1:30).
Rather than anything that we have come up
with of our own accord, it is our faith in the
sacrifice and living example of Christ that is our
righteousness (Phil 3:9). It is our calling—
through the gospel of Christ—to be the
instruments of God “for righteousness” that
must define who we are in this world (Rom
We know Christ; therefore, we are in
relationship with the one who makes us
righteous. It is in Jesus Christ that we are
declared right in the sight of God. Nothing we
say or do or think warrants this. It is only in
knowing Christ that we receive righteousness.

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