"For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again." - Proverbs 24:16
I used to think that what made a person righteous was how close to "perfect" he/she came. Striving, measuring up and ticking off accomplishments became my MO in obtaining righteousness. It was my way to measure how good I was... or wasn't, as each failure sent me into a downward spiral of despair, guilt and shame.
Somewhere along the line I realised that maybe what makes a person righteous isn't how perfect they are but how they handle their failures. Being honest about what I don't know, where I'm weak, the mistakes I've made and what I've learned from them... maybe that says more about who I am than all of the achievements and successes I've garnered thus far.
"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." - Julie Andrews
Maybe righteousness has more to do with not giving up, with pursuing the goal no matter what - whether everyone else is miles ahead of us, whether we've tripped and fallen flat on our faces, or even if it seems hopeless - picking ourselves up after every setback, dusting our knees off, and limping forward.
"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." - Atticus Finch to Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird
Righteousness, perseverance, courage... these days I'm not sure where one ends and the other begins. I'm not sure that they can be separated. I'm not sure that they should be separated.