“The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Psalms 28:1 (ESV)
Is there anything inherent in being righteous that makes you bold? I think so. There is a peace about the righteous, and much of that peace comes from the fact that the wicked, though wicked, still have consciences. They know what is right and they know what is shameful. So the wicked live in a constant state of being found out.
How good it is to live in righteousness. How good it is to bring people into your family life, because you treat your wife with honor and your children with patience. How freeing it is to not care if someone looks at your phone, because you are not ashamed of the sites you visited. How bold you can be in denouncing evil because you have no skeletons in your own closet. How good to be righteous!
But the reality is that righteousness this side of heaven will always be relative righteousness, because we are still broken people. But when you believe in Jesus you take on his righteousness, and you become bold in a whole new way. You are able to invite people into your struggles with sin, not fearing what they will think, because your worth is bound up with Christ’s righteousness and not your own. True vulnerability lives only in the righteousness of Christ. Not only that, but you are also free to stand against the crowd, because you have heard the acquitting verdict of Christ and you need hear no other voice. And above all, you can be bold in the face of death, our last great enemy. Because death can only hurt those who sin, and in Christ your sins are paid. There is no longer any condemnation after death. In Christ you can walk unflinchingly right into the mouth of the grave. Like a lion.