Doing the right thing, right now


Do you want to do the right thing?

Most of us, if we were to ask ourselves this question, would of course supply, “yes,” as an answer. Naturally, we want to do the right thing, we would say.

Except, sometimes we don’t. If we always wanted to do the right thing, there would be no such thing as temptation. But, of course, we are tempted. And a temptation is only a temptation if it’s something you want to do. As the Scriptures remind us, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (James 1:14) Those temptations come from within us, because we don’t always actually want to do the right thing.

And sometimes we want to do the right thing, but we also want to do the wrong thing, and we are conflicted as to which to choose. Or else, we want to do the right thing, but we still choose to do the wrong thing. As the apostle Paul noted of his life before Christ: “For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15; NKJV)

What we need to do when we are tempted is to slow down and ask ourselves, “Do I want to do the right thing?” Just a reminder to ourselves that we actually want to make the right choices in life can’t hurt when we are in a moment of decision.

We might ask a follow-up question to further guide ourselves into a wise choice: Do I want to do the right thing based on the Truth of God’s word?

Our own impulses as to what is right and wrong are frequently in error. Following your heart can get a person into a lot of trouble when the heart is clamoring for us to make bad choices. The prophet Jeremiah preached repeatedly about the dangers of following the heart. His divinely appointed message was, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9a; NKJV)

Men require a more stable guide of right and wrong than their own natural impulses. God provides us such a guide in His word (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16).

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we want to listen to God when He speaks to us? There’s quite a few people who don’t want to listen to God, and who will say so. But if we truly believe there is a God, and we truly believe that He has spoken to man, then it makes quite a bit of sense to remind ourselves that not only do we want to do the right thing, but we want to do the right thing according to the truth God has taught us.

Which leads us to a third direct and important question we should ask ourselves: Do we want to do the right thing now?

Knowing to do the right thing is all well and good, and knowing what the right thing is, is also important, but too often when we tell ourselves that we want to do the right thing, we allow ourselves to wait before acting. We hesitate, procrastinate, and allow our resolve to waver.

Such indecision and waiting is not good for us.

Going back to the book of James, we are taught, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17; NKJV) If we want to do the right thing, but we never actually get around to it, we, by default, did the wrong thing. And, we must ask ourselves, if we say we really wanted to do the right thing, but we waited, how strong was our actual desire?

The Bible reminds us, “He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: do not harden your hearts.” (Psalm 95:7-8a; NKJV) And elsewhere, “He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2; NKJV) And again, we read, “now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11; NKJV)

The best time to listen to God is right now. The best time to do the right thing is today. When you know what you should do, and you want to do it, why hesitate before acting?

So again, when you come to a situation calling for you to make a choice, ask yourself: Do I want to do the right thing? Do I want to do the right thing according to the truth God teaches in His word? Do I want to do the right thing right now?

If the answer to all these questions is a truthful, “yes,” it is but a step to begin acting on that resolve. If you want to do the right thing, but aren’t sure what the right thing is, the best thing to do is to take some time to study God’s word. For this reason, the church of Christ invites you to study and worship with us at 234 Chapel Drive, Gallipolis, Ohio. Likewise, if you have any questions, please share them with us through our website: chapelhillchurchofchrist.org.

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McAnulty
http://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/09/web1_McAnulty-Jonathon.jpgMcAnulty
Doing the right thing, right now

Jonathan McAnulty

Minister

Jonathan McAnulty is minister of Chapel Hill Church of Christ.