Sometimes I get tired of doing what is right. I don’t want you to confuse this with doing what is good or with always thinking I am right. What I mean is that sometimes I have to do things that are not very enjoyable because it is the right thing to do. For instance it is right for me, a single Mom, to obey the rules set forth in the parenting plan that is part of my divorce decree. The purpose of a parenting plan is to eliminate confusion and to have a clearly written document that states what the rules both parents are going to agree to when it comes to the children in a divorced home. Sounds like a great concept and for the most part it really is because it makes life much easier when everyone understands and obeys the rules. But sometimes it is a pain for me because not always does a certain someone want to follow the rules. That is a time when I do what is right but I don’t enjoy doing what is right. Another example is driving. I follow the rules of the road and extend courtesy when necessary, I don’t speed and when parking I try to always park within the lines. But there are often times when doing what is right is not much fun, like when I came out of a store and saw the big pickup next to me parked so close to the driver’s door that I couldn’t get into my car. Times like that I just want to bash in the side of that brand new looking big pickup and then drive away…but that wouldn’t be right to do. So I open the passenger’s door and slide across the seat to the driver’s side and then carefully back out of the parking space without leaving even a scratch or dent in that big pickup! Yet as Christians we are called to always do what is right.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:26-27, (New International Version or NIV).
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:11-17, (NIV).
As I said, Christians are called to a higher living standard than other people. We are to always do what is right because God is always watching and guiding us to be righteous. We will be held accountable for our actions but more important to me is not that God is watching. I just don’t want God to be disappointed in me; I want to be as much like Jesus as I possibly can. I know that I will never be perfect yet I still aspire to such a lofty goal. Why? Because I love God so much and I am so thankful for all He does for me. We are going to be considered a little weird just as foreigners and exiles are often thought to be a little strange. We are to stand out among the crowds of people we come into contact with and work with and live near. Our life is to be submissive to our Lord and that makes us a little different in our thinking than many in our communities. Notice that when we are submissive to God we will also follow the law, every law, even speeding laws and parking laws and divorce decree laws. That is sometimes hard to do and that is why I sometimes get tired of doing what is right! But let’s see what the rest of the passage in 1 Peter says about doing what is right.
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:18-25, (NIV).
It is very humbling to be reminded that we are to react to insults as Jesus did. He never retaliated; He never spoke against those who were accusing Him. He just prayed for them and asked God to forgive them. We are to model Jesus in all things. I don’t always model Jesus very well. I have to submit that feeling of unfairness to God because what I endure is a far cry from that done to Jesus. As I age I suppose that I do find it a little easier to keep doing what is right, that is if I can determine what is right to do. Sometimes I have had to really pray and seek what I am to do that is right by reading God’s word. It may take a little time but God always has guided me to do what is right to do. And as Peter tells us, it isn’t always appreciated by others when I do something that I know is right to do, but they don’t have to answer to God for me as I do. I guess I better change my attitude, you know, get an attitude adjustment on the idea that I get tired of doing what is right. Doing right is what Jesus did always and I am called to submit to Him and gladly do so. Now that I think about it, I am glad that I do what is right. I am glad that I didn’t take the path where most people trod. I am thankful that God guides my path and straightens me out when I need it! I hope this helps you too.
Until next time…Katherine