Last Sunday, our bishop (minister) gave a beautiful talk on becoming. I love that word. It implies a journey, rather than a destination. Among other things, he spoke on becoming righteous. One quote in particular stuck with me: "Righteousness is not merely the absence of sin but the presence of goodness."
Sometimes, in my mortal, immature mind, I believe myself to be righteous. After all, I do not do the things proscribed by our church. I don't partake of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. Does abstaining from those things make me righteous? No. They may help me be healtheir, but absention from them does not make me righteous.
As our wise bishop said, "True righteousness is the presence of goodness."
And so, I have to ask myself, do I have the presence of goodness. The answer: sometimes. And sometimes not.
Goodness is seeking the Lord's will. Goodness is doing my best to obey His commandments. Goodness is putting others before myself (mostly). Goodness is finding gratitude for everything, even the things which are painful.
This I know for sure: when I walk in the Light, I have the presence of goodness. When I leave the Light, that goodness leaves with me.