Job did not know there was anything wrong with his life. As far as he knew he had not done anything wrong at all. So, was Job “righteous” before God? Yes, and no. God said Job was righteous, and yet God said to Job:
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?........ Then will I also acknowledge to you that your own right hand can save you" (Job 40: 6-9,14, emphasis mine).
Only God is righteous and only He can save us…through His Son [His Hand]. Yet, Job’s “conscience” before God was clear. But he also was “trusting in” his own righteousness.
Here is a statement from the apostle Paul which I believe sheds some light on this subject. He says: “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God” (1 Cor. 4:2-5, emphasis mine).
We, children of God, may not be aware we have done anything wrong in a particular situation. Our conscience may be completely clear and free of any accusation. And if our conscience is clear and we are children of God we can have confidence to approach the throne of grace through the blood of Jesus. Now, we may have unknowingly sinned. But until that is brought to light by God, one way or another, what can we do about it? Nothing, except to daily examine our hearts and motives before God in prayer and by His eternal Word, the Bible. And really that is not “nothing” is it! Being “willing” to allow the Holy Spirit to search us is an unbelievably valuable thing in God’s sight. If we are “humble and willing” He is willing to help us see what we cannot see. Does this mean we will recognize everything we did wrong, or who we need to apologize to, or what we need to correct in our lives before we die? No. But it does mean we have open ears to God’s voice, and He does reward that!
Currently there is a lot of confusion and conflict between Chrisitan’s concerning what is “right and wrong” regarding certain things. Now, this does not mean we remain silent when the Word of God is clear on something. It does not mean we “sweep things under the rug” and pretend to get along with each other. It does not mean we do not address these things. It means we extend “grace and mercy”, and we take care of our own relationship with God by examining our own hearts daily. We “can” ask God for insight into another’s heart. And He can give it, by His Spirit. But if He does it would only be for His glory, not ours.
So, let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt. And if there is something which we are convinced is from God and we differ with one another regarding it, but it is not specifically addressed in the scriptures, then let us bear with one another, being slow to judge and quick to listen and quick to examine ourselves first. God will eventually bring all things to light. If it came from a prophecy, or a dream, or a vision. Okay. Then bring that before the Lord and His Word. Share it. And hold onto it. If it is from God, it will come to pass. But let us not divide over dreams and visions. Let us stand firm on the Holy Bible as our foundation.
It is true that many lack discernment in the churches these days due to a lack of knowing or understanding the Bible and a lack of examining themselves before the Lord. Therefore, let us examine both, the Word of God, praying for wisdom and understanding as we read. And examine ourselves by prayer, often.
Lastly, “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:19-22, emphasis mine).
Love one another. Be patient with one another. Stand firm on the truth.