Since childhood, I've had an inward craving to be good. I feared disapproval and was disappointed with myself when sin erupted, as it inevitably does. A lie told to protect my "good child" facade would result in shame - embarrassment at being caught but also anger that once again, I wasn't what I wanted to be. Possessing a sensitive nature, I didn't like what I saw within myself.
I wanted to be good, and I wasn't. Not really, deep down.
I understood the gospel at a young age, and I believe that was when Christ saved me, but I didn't come to a full understanding of what this salvation really meant until later on in my teens. I am still grasping it now, moving (sometimes oh so slowly) into a fuller, richer understanding.
Part of the understanding is that He calls me righteous...
I don't have to hide. He sees the sins I commit (and the depths of what I'm capable of) better than I, and yet there is freedom in that - In knowing that He sees me just as I am, and loves me still. Pretending I'm something that I'm not would be futile.
I don't have to struggle for a goodness of my own, because I'm already declared righteous. He clothes me with the perfection of His Son who died to pay the price for my sin, and offers His righteousness as a free gift to me.
In Christ, I am free to look away from myself and look to Him instead. And in doing that, I want to please Him, to do what is right. Not to look good or receive approval or acceptance from others, but as an expression of thanks for the perfect love and acceptance He gives me.
How different this is than the exhaustive struggle to measure up on my own!
I'm His daughter, and He calls me righteous.
"...and be found in [Christ] not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith." (Philippians 3:9)