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How To Be Righteous In The Eyes Of God

Living a righteous life that pleases God can seem like a daunting task. However, by following some key principles and actions, you can align your life more closely with God’s desires.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Focus on developing virtues like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, which are the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Make time for prayer, studying Scripture, and fellowship with other believers. Serve others, avoid sin, and repent when you fall short.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we will explore in detail what it means to live righteously, including examining virtues to cultivate, sins to avoid, spiritual disciplines to practice, and principles to follow in order to please God.

Understanding Righteousness

The meaning of righteousness

Righteousness means living according to God’s moral standards and commandments. It is the quality of being morally right or just. The Bible says that righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22). As fallible humans, we often fall short of God’s perfect standard of righteousness.

But by accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we can be counted as righteous before God.

God’s standard of righteousness

God is perfectly righteous and holy. His standard for righteousness is high because He cannot tolerate sin or evil. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus raised the bar even higher showing that righteousness is ultimately a matter of the heart and mind, not just external behavior (Matthew 5-7).

For example, anger is like murder, and lust like adultery. God sees all our deeds, words and even secret thoughts. His standard exposes our need for His grace and forgiveness.

Our sinful nature

Due to original sin, humans have a natural tendency towards unrighteousness. The apostle Paul laments, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). Our minds and consciences may know basic morality, but our flesh betrays us.

Selfish pride, greed, anger, jealousy constantly war against our spirit. Without God’s help, righteousness eludes us. But with Christ, we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Holy Spirit now dwells in believers leading them in God’s righteous paths.

Cultivating Godly Virtues

The fruits of the Spirit

The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the virtues that God desires to cultivate in the lives of believers through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

When we yield to the Spirit’s leading, these virtues will blossom in our lives and relationships.


Love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). It seeks the good of others above self (Philippians 2:3-4). Godly love reflects the self-sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated for us on the cross (John 15:13). Loving others as Christ loved us is the true mark of a disciple (John 13:35).


Biblical joy is more than happiness. It is a deep abiding gladness founded on God’s love and promises (Psalm 16:11). Joy enables believers to rejoice even in trials (James 1:2-4). The joy of the Lord gives strength to face life’s challenges (Nehemiah 8:10).

As we walk in the Spirit, He fills us with supernatural joy (Galatians 5:22).


True peace comes from being made right with God through Christ (Romans 5:1). As we trust in God’s sovereign care, His perfect peace guards our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6-7). Peace enables believers to live in harmony with others (Romans 12:18).

The fruit of peace provides calm assurance in chaotic times.


Patience is the ability to wait and endure without complaining. Scripture exhorts us to “be patient in affliction” (Romans 12:12) and to “count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). Patience grows as we trust in God’s timing and purposes.

It enables us to show grace and mercy to others.


Kindness means actively seeking to benefit others. As believers, we are called to clothe ourselves with kindness (Colossians 3:12). Kind words and selfless actions reflect the tender mercies of our Savior. Simple acts of kindness have power to lift burdened souls.

As we walk in the Spirit, He empowers us to show tenderhearted kindness to all.


Goodness means moral excellence and virtue. As Christians, we are to “let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). A life characterized by goodness will point people to Christ.

The goodness produced by the Spirit brings glory to God.


Being faithful means adhering unswervingly to God’s truth. We are called to keep our covenant with God and walk in obedience to His Word. As we submit to the Spirit’s lead, He produces faithfulness to empower consistency between belief and practice.

Faithfulness is demonstrated through steadfast commitment and dependability.


Gentleness is humble, patient, submissive strength. The Bible instructs us to correct opponents with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:25). Gentleness enables thoughtful, compassionate service towards others. As we walk in the Spirit, He helps us wield influence with humility, restraint and sensitivity.


Self-control is mastery over one’s desires and passions. All virtue begins with governing our thoughts, words and actions. The Spirit enables believers to exercise sound judgment and refrain from impulsive, destructive choices.

Self-control is essential for obeying God’s will, resisting temptation and walking uprightly.

Practicing Spiritual Disciplines

Reading Scripture

Reading the Bible daily allows us to hear from God and grow closer to Him. Setting aside quiet time each morning to meditate on God’s Word is vital for nourishing our spirit. As we read the Scriptures, we become more aware of God’s character and understand His will for our lives.

Great online resources like BibleGateway make God’s Word accessible anytime, anywhere.


Prayer is our direct line of communication with God. When we pray, we can pour out our hearts to Him, offer up thanksgiving, ask for guidance, and intercede on behalf of others. Establishing a regular prayer life is crucial for maintaining a close walk with God.

We can pray throughout the day, be part of a prayer group, or even fast and pray for special intentions. Amazing things happen when God’s people commit to regular prayer!


Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that demonstrates our dependance on God. By willingly abstaining from food or other things, we humble ourselves and focus more intently on God. Fasting helps break strongholds, intercede for others, and seek God’s will.

It is often combined with focused prayer for deeply meaningful seasons of consecration to the Lord. Even a 24-hour fast can be spiritually refreshing when our appetite is directed toward God.


Christian fellowship plays a key role in our faith journeys. We grow together through small groups, church community, and accountability partners. According to a Barna study, over half of practicing Christians are involved in some form of discipleship relationship.

Gathering regularly with other believers encourages us in godliness as we study the Word, pray together, and spur one another toward righteousness. What a blessing it is to walk this path in Christian community!


Worship is the awe-filled response of our hearts to the wonder of who God is. Through worship, we exalt His name and offer our lives as a living sacrifice. Both personal and corporate worship time directs our focus back to God’s glory.

Singing spiritual songs, listening to biblically-based sermons, and celebrating Communion are impactful ways we worship together at church. But worship extends beyond Sunday mornings. Our lives demonstrate worship when we honor God in all we do – at home, work, school, and in service to others.


Serving others is a tangible way we can share the love of Jesus. As His followers, we are called to emulate His servant leadership. This looks different for each person. You may volunteer at a soup kitchen, go on missions, use your skills to bless others, or support ministries making a difference worldwide.

There are so many ways – big and small – that we can meet needs in Jesus’ name. Service not only blesses others but also transforms our own hearts in the process.


Giving generously is essential to living out our faith. All we have comes from God, so giving back to Him expresses gratitude and trust. Tithing regularly allows ministries to flourish and new work to advance God’s Kingdom.

According to the Generosity Movement, the average American Christian gives about 2.5% of their income to church. Imagine the potential impact if we all aimed for 10%! As we give freely, we store up treasures in heaven and participate in God’s provision.

Avoiding Sin


Lust is a strong desire for something, often of a sexual nature. It can lead people to objectify others and use them for selfish pleasure. To avoid lust, it’s important to see people as whole humans created in God’s image, not as objects (Genesis 1:27).

Filling your mind with wholesome things can help too (Philippians 4:8). Lastly, lust often stems from loneliness. Developing healthy relationships and connection with God and others can prevent this root issue.


Greed is an excessive desire for more than you need. It stems from discontentment and elevates possessions over people. To avoid greed, cultivate a spirit of generosity by giving to the poor and tithing (Luke 12:33-34). Focus on being rich toward God rather than monetary wealth (Luke 12:21).

Find contentment in God’s provision for your needs (Hebrews 13:5). Lastly, pursue deeper relationships over materialism.


Pride is an inflated opinion of oneself. It manifests as arrogance, vanity, and self-righteousness. Pride often leads to disrespecting and looking down on others. To avoid pride, regularly examine your heart and motives (Psalm 139:23-24).

Remind yourself that all good things in your life are gifts from God, not accomplishments to boast about (1 Corinthians 4:7). Also, practice humility by serving and elevating others (Philippians 2:3-4). Lastly, pray for wisdom to see yourself accurately (Proverbs 11:2).


Anger often stems from unmet expectations, desires, or an inflated sense of rights. It can lead to harsh words, violence, and damaged relationships. To avoid unhealthy anger, understand your triggers and learn to manage reactions (Proverbs 29:11).

Seek to forgive quickly and communicate needs calmly (Ephesians 4:26). Take time to process anger instead of reacting rashly. Pray for patience and remember God’s sovereignty in every circumstance (James 1:19-20). Lastly, model anger that creates change, not destruction (Ephesians 4:26).


Envy stems from lack of contentment and comparing yourself to others. It manifests as resentment, jealousy, and discontent. To avoid envy, celebrate others’ successes instead of feeling threatened. Focus on gratitude for what you have rather than what you lack (Hebrews 13:5).

Develop your unique talents instead of coveting others’ gifts (Matthew 25:14-30). Envy often covers up deeper issues like low self-worth and insecurity. Seek wholeness in your identity in Christ.


Gluttony is overindulgence in anything, especially food and drink. It shows a lack of self-control and reveals misplaced appetites. To avoid gluttony, practice moderation, especially in bonding social situations involving food and alcohol which can lower inhibitions (Proverbs 23:20-21).

Don’t use food as a crutch when bored, lonely, or upset. Focus on spiritual nourishment through God’s word (Matthew 4:4). Be mindful of your body as God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). And give generously to those in need.


Laziness or slothfulness is wasting time and avoiding responsibility. It shows both disrespect for our gifts and lack of discipline. To avoid laziness, find work aligned with your passions and gifts. Set goals and break large tasks into small steps (Proverbs 13:4).

Get accountability from others and track progress. Make sure you are resting properly as fatigue can decrease motivation. Ask God for self-control and diligence (2 Timothy 1:7). Lastly, avoid distractions and develop routines.

Seeking Forgiveness and Repenting

Confessing sins

Confessing one’s sins to God is an important step towards receiving forgiveness and restoring our relationship with Him. When we openly acknowledge our wrongdoings before God, we take responsibility for our actions and demonstrate humility and sincere repentance (1 John 1:9).

This opens the door for God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Some tips for effectively confessing sins include: being specific about the sins committed rather than making a blanket confession; taking time to reflect on how the sins hurt others and damaged our relationship with God; asking the Holy Spirit to reveal any sins we may be blind to; and coming to God with a repentant heart rather than justifying our actions (Psalm 51:1-17).

Sins should be confessed privately to God, but sharing with trusted believers can bring additional healing (James 5:16).

Asking for forgiveness

After confessing our sins, it is important to humbly ask God for forgiveness. Though God is always ready and willing to forgive us, explicitly asking for forgiveness demonstrates our reliance on God’s mercy and grace. It is an act of faith and humility that recognizes our need for God.

When asking for forgiveness, we can admit that we have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards (Romans 3:23). We can acknowledge that our sins grieve God and damaged our relationship with Him. King David set a model by pleading with God to blot out his transgressions, wash him clean and renew a steadfast spirit within Him (Psalm 51:1-12).

We can ask God to purify us and restore us to righteousness through the blood of Jesus which makes forgiveness possible.

Turning from sin

True repentance involves not only confessing and asking forgiveness for sin, but also making a conscious decision to turn away and abandon the sinful behavior with God’s help. As Acts 3:19 says, we must “repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.”

This turning from sin is a key part of the Biblical process of repentance.

Turning from sin means recognizing the spiritual roots of sinful behaviors – pride, selfishness, unforgiveness, etc. – and asking God to uproot them. It means creating physical and mental boundaries to stop harmful behaviors and replace them with God-honoring ones.

Most importantly, it means actively depending on the Holy Spirit daily to say “no” to the flesh and live in freedom from sin’s grip (Romans 8:1-17).

Making amends

An important part of seeking forgiveness is to make amends whenever possible to others we have harmed through our sins. Though we cannot always undo the damage, we can demonstrate godly sorrow and repentance by asking forgiveness, making restitution, and changing hurtful behaviors (Luke 19:8-10).

However, making amends should be done with wisdom – we should carefully consider if contacting someone we have hurt will cause further harm. In some cases, writing a private letter may be more appropriate than contacting someone directly.

Above all, we can make amends by treating others with love and respect going forward. As we seek God’s mercy, we must extend mercy and forgiveness to others as well (Matthew 6:14-15).


Living righteously in God’s eyes involves pursuing virtues like love and self-control, avoiding destructive sins, and embracing spiritual disciplines like prayer and fellowship. While it can be challenging, God provides us grace, the Holy Spirit, and a community of believers to help us live in a way that honors Him.

As we seek to align our lives with God’s standards, we can experience the joy and peace of righteousness.

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