Our flesh is overly focused on the short term. It often seeks instant gratification, forgetting the lasting impact of things and settling for what feels good in the moment.
Righteousness, what the Bible describes as a person’s character working for a social harmony, is difficult and complex. It is not always an exercise in instant gratification. Sometimes it costs us something upfront. It costs us our own agenda or understanding. It costs us the extra effort of considering others and navigating diverse opinions.
It takes work, diligence. It takes intentionality, focused effort. Seeking righteousness often seems more difficult than seeking ill-gotten, temporal gains. It seems as if there is an easier way, a shortcut, that does not take so much effort, trust, and collaboration.
Whatever treasures we gain have no lasting value. They may flare up and make us feel good for a moment, but they will fade and decay in time. Death is their end.
The gifts of righteousness take more time to develop but also last infinitely longer. They cheat death. They are external, within us and beyond us. Through righteousness we get to participate in meaning. True and lasting purpose.
Although it may take more effort and the challenge of trusting God, the treasures of righteousness are eternal. They go beyond what we can see or feel. Even beyond what we can understand or imagine. And that is worth our time, worth our effort. Today’s choices reap an eternal treasure.