There’s a reason why there has been an absence of righteous acts. Because we have been incapacitated, incapable and self-immunized to compassion or even concern. We talk about our burdens for a ‘lost’ world – but it’s a vocabulary. It’s not accompanied by ringing conviction or something inward, because it is inward that something is wanting, namely the righteousness of God: In the place of righteousness there is wickedness.
I know that is certainly true for me. Outwardly, I have been capable of serving God, and even on occasion impressively. But, it is amazing the contradiction between the outward and the inward. That in places that are not visible to others, known only to yourself, to God, and to the victim of the inward unrighteousess, as for example, one’s own wife and children, there is this profound contradiction. And, until it is resolved, reconciled, healed and made right, we can forget about outward righteousness as deeds in the world. Because anything that flows out of us, being marred, being contradicted, is just some kind of empty act, a self-righteousness rather than the righteousness of God.
Within and without, we have got to be one whole thing.