I was recently having a conversation with a younger friend of mine when she used the word “groovy.” 


I laughed out loud, and she confessed that she had never really used the word before, but had been persuaded by an on-going movement to bring the word back. It even has a hashtag. 


The thing is, I did occasionally use the word “groovy” during that particularly embarrassing period of American history when it was fashionable, but the thing I confessed to her was that almost no one at the time knew exactly what it meant. Sure, we used it to mean “cool” or “good” and we had a vague sense that it had something to do with the grooves in a vinyl record, but not all records are good, so why would we use that word?


It was not until I googled it up just now that I found that the term goes back to the jazz era of the 1920’s. Apparently, disc jockeys (Currently called “Radio Announcers” here at Kinship Christian Radio.) would refer to various songs as “hot grooves, good grooves, or cool grooves.” Musicians were said to be “in the groove” when playing well together.


I remember reading “Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck many years ago and having the phrase , “…the world was spinning in greased grooves…” stick in my head. 


That I could visualize. 


So, as you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of bringing back the word “groovy.” For a lot of people, we’d have to explain what a vinyl record was to impart any meaning at all. (The friend mentioned above was familiar with vinyl records. I refrained from using the word “Victrola” or making references to “stacks of wax.”)


I would, however, not be averse to bringing back the word, “righteous.”


To be clear, when used in the everyday parlance of the 1970’s we never, ever used the word correctly. Most often, the word was used in the phrase, “Righteous, man. Righteous.” This was said in a lower tone of voice than normal conversation and intoned in such a way as to impress upon the person listening how very, very cool you were.


For example, your friend might say, “Man, dig these new bell-bottoms I got, man.” (“Dig” means “to appreciate.” Bell-bottoms were a type of pants where the bottom of the pant leg flared out into a “bell” shape. Near the end of the fad, the bells almost began to look like skirts on the end of your jeans. Also, virtually every sentence uttered all during the 1970’s contained the word “man” at least twice.)


To which you would reply, “Righteous, man. Righteous.”


There was even a band called “The Righteous Brothers” but no one at the time thought the name meant the brothers had been made right with God. 


And that’s why it would be a good word to bring back. Where “groovy” meant right by the world’s standards, “righteous” means right with God’s standards.  


As I have been reading my Bible over the last several weeks, that “righteous” word keeps coming up again and again, and the amazing thing is, even though our human nature leads us to believe that righteousness means always doing the right thing, the Bible clearly says righteousness comes by faith, not by any effort on our part to keep the Law. 

So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6 (NIV)

For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Romans 4:3 (NIV)

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 (ESV)

Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do. Acts 13:39 (NLT)

… and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Philippians 3:9 (NIV)


It’s faith, brothers and sisters, that makes us righteous in God’s sight! It’s believing that what Jesus did on that cross truly did finish and complete God’s plan to make us right with Him!


We cannot possibly atone for all our sins and make ourselves righteous before God because Jesus has already done it for us! 


Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Roman 5: 18-19 (NIV)


So, I am proposing that we bring back that word “righteous” and use it to describe one who has faith in Jesus Christ! I think it would be wonderful if I could say to the friend mentioned above, “Hello, my righteous sister, how is it with your soul today?” 


I think it would be an encouragement to each other and bring glory to our Lord Jesus.


Now, I would probably still laugh out loud if my sister were to reply, “Groovy, brother Dan, groovy.” 



Today’s Praise

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. Romans 5: 1-2 (NLT)




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