A Collect for True Righteousness

Lord God, whose nature is goodness and love, give us hearts that truly desire to do good, that we would not merely fulfill your commandments in order to satisfy our selfish needs or keep ourselves from harm, but we would live as your true children, marked by love and virtue in our very being, through Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive and lives forever with you and the Holy Spirit in glory. Amen. “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:20 Are there ways that I treat religious duties as a checklist? Are there ways that I engage with the spiritual life selfishly – seeking primarily to make myself look good or to escape suffering or hell? What are my motivations for doing the things I do in the spiritual life? What could I learn if I asked myself and the Holy Spirit to reveal the true motivations of my heart and gave space for the Lord to speak? And am I willing to allow the Lord to change those things?