“…And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”
This verse reminds me of chapter 11 of Hebrews. This chapter is well known as the hall of faith which is fitting since, well, its all about people’s faith in God. The second verse of Hebrews 11 tells us that it was by faith the elders obtained a good testimony, not by their righteous works or obedience to the law. The God of the Old Testament is the exact same God of the New Testament, so just as it was Abrahams faith that was accounted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), our faith in Jesus is what makes us righteous. It is a humbling thing to have God show you your lack of righteousness. We know in our heads that there is nothing good in us, but to have that knowledge become a reality is completely different. Everything in our human nature wants to do it on our own and prove how capable we really are. We act as if going to church and doing outreaches is enough to live up to God’s standards of perfection. But to give up even trying to acquire righteous and taking Christ’s gift of righteousness instead is the ultimate sacrifice of control. You aren’t just giving up your ability to be enough, you’re giving up your ability to pretend to be good enough for God. Once you’ve accepted Christ’s righteousness, all masks have to be dropped. Deceiving yourself is no longer an option as your own sin is revealed to you. Pretending to be anything other than what you are with other people isn’t possible. Being real becomes the only option.