|We, as followers of Christ, want to do the right thing.
I've heard, more times than I can count, a soul at the altar
crying out to God to help him overcome weakness and for the
strength to follow Christ wholeheartedly. We truly do
want God's will at work in our lives. What I want to take a
look at is the need to not only do the right thing, but to
do it the right way.
A short poem about an errant child goes like this:
A fly entered into our room, And I decided to kill it
with a broom.
So when it landed on Mama's head, I hit it hard and was sent
straight to bed!
It's not enough to do the right thing. As the
little poem points out, it's not enough to kill the fly but
we need to use an acceptable method to carry out the demise
of the fly. In God's kingdom we are called to a high
standard. We can't just handle the things of God with
a casual, nonchalant approach. God deserves better
than that. He deserves reverence and honor. And
He requires us to not only do the right things but we are
required to do them the right way.
Oswald Chambers, in the book My Utmost for His Highest
stated, "If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we
have to remember that all noble things are difficult.
The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the
difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it
rouses us up to overcome." We must be roused to handle
the things of God both right and rightly.
We can see a number of examples in scripture where the right
thing was done the wrong way and the results were deadly.
Moses loved God. Moses loved the people God gave him
to lead. Moses really, really wanted to do the right
thing. But, as we know, there was a point when he did
the right thing - getting water for the children of Israel -
but the wrong way: he struck the rock instead of speaking to
it. God's judgment was immediate and the result was
painful for Moses.
King David is called a man after God's own heart.
David's love of God is powerfully evidenced in the Psalms.
David wanted to do the right things. But there was the
time that he wanted to move the Ark of the Covenant.
It was the right thing to do but he did it the wrong way and
the result was death.
We know that, as it says in Romans 8:1, "Therefore, there is
now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
We are no longer under the law but we live under grace.
However, God does not change. He is the same
yesterday, today, and forever. If it was important for
Moses, if it was important for David, then it's important
for us. The Old Testament teaches us about God's
personality. And we can see that God cares about how
things are done as well as what things are done.
In the New Testament we are told to "study to show your
self approved". We are told to "give joyfully".
We are told to work that we "ůmay have something to share
with those in need". How are we doing? Are we
studying God's word with a purpose? Are we giving
joyfully or just giving? Are we working to give or to
gain? Are we doing it the right way?
A friend of mine from England was teasing me one time.
He wanted to demonstrate how the Brits use "left-handed
compliments", so he said to me, "My friend said that you
don't have the brain of a gnat but I defended you and said
that you did!" We all howled and I've used that
line a number of times since then. However it
graphically shows how a compliment can be turned into an
insult. The right thing the wrong way.
It says in John 12:24, "Unless a kernel of wheat falls to
the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.
But if it dies, it produces many seeds." A single
grain of wheat is of no use at all. A bird would
starve on a single grain of wheat. The only purpose
for a single grain of wheat is to die. The only
purpose for my life is to die - that Christ might live
It all really comes down to control. We all like to be
in control. That's what got Moses in trouble.
That's what got David in trouble. And that's what has
gotten me in trouble so many times. But only as we die
to ourselves, only as we do the right things ,God's way,
will we see the increase, the blessings, the producing of
many seeds. Amen!