Doing the right thing is not always easy and as a Christian, I’d love to tell you that I always do the right thing, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes doing the right thing is hard. This blog post started as the “the courage to obey” because I thought it would be easier to write about how we should do the right thing even when it hurts, but for the life of me I could not put words on the paper. I would get started and get stuck, get started and get stuck, get started and get stuck – it was a vicious cycle and I could not figure out what the problem was. I soon realized that the problem was me I was focusing on the wrong thing not the main thing. You see this was about much more than obedience because I can obey doing the wrong thing, but I am still obeying aren’t I? And when you make a choice to do the right thing no matter what that can, at times, look just like rebellion (think about Jesus turning over tables or Jesus healing on the Sabbath). What I realized is that this post needed to be about doing the right thing because while doing the right thing will lead you into a life of obedience; doing the right thing will obedience is great and necessary, doing the right thing often is often accompanied by obedience.
As a believer, there are certain things I know I should do and there are certain things I know I shouldn’t do. I know that I am supposed to read my bible, pray, fast, love my neighbor, etc. I also know that I am not supposed to lie, cheat, or steal. These are the basics, for most of us, the basics are easy, and we are good with easy. But sometimes a shift takes place and doing the right thing causes friction, frustration and downright pain. In fact, the bible lets us know that doing the right thing can cause challenges and friction (see I Peter 3:14). So, how do you do the right thing when it is not easy? How do you say “yes” to God’s will and obey him when it “feels” so much better to do what you want? (Just a quick note, doing the right thing to you and me may be different but it’s doing the right thing to God that counts).
Doing the right thing or doing things God’s way is not always easy and unfortunately we often stand in our own way with fear, doubt, and anxiety. Let me give you an example from my own life. In the past, whenever I would get frustrated by a situation or a problem, I would vent out all of my problems, typically exacerbating the issue because I would not shut up about it and because I did not shut up about it, I would also say things I did not mean, which caused things to happen that may not have happened if I had just kept my mouth shut. So, when people were mean to me, I would make the situation worse by talking to other people which always led to gossiping (the wrong thing) instead of praying (the right thing). God has been dealing with me on this because as a woman I am built to talk out my issues, but now instead of ranting to people who may or may not keep what I say to them, God has me come to Him in prayer. For me, doing the right thing in this scenario is bringing my problems to God for counsel, wisdom and instruction (because sometimes I am the problem but that is a whole different blog post). However, when I am upset and frustrated in the heat of the moment I just want to say everything that is on my mind in the loudest, meanest voice I can muster, but I know that is not the right thing to do (and I know that because when I do slip God convicts me immediately). For me, doing the right thing when I am upset defies every behavior I grew with and around, yet when I do it God’s way, I not only feel better, but the sting of whatever problem I had goes away and the resolution to the matter comes quickly.
So how do you effectively do the right thing? First, know what God says about your situation. In my case, it was gossiping mixed with anger. I know the bible tells me that it is not good to gossip. I also realized that God Himself gave me a conviction in my heart and spirit about it. And even if I slip, I am convicted and have a gut check every time. Second, let God be your guide. He will always give you the right way to go because He wants you to do the right thing. Third, make the choice that even when it hurts and even when it is easier to do it your way, choose God’s way – the best way.
Doing the right thing is not always going to be easy, but know this that if you trust God, trust His timing, and His plan you will see that even when it hurts, doing the right thing will prove to benefit you. Today and every day have the courage to do the right thing and if you fail one day, get right back up and try again. We are not perfect and you may not always do it the right way, but our focus is not in the fall but in the get up and as Spike Lee says “do the right thing!”
Liela Marie Fuller
Author, Mother, Friend, Believer in Jesus...Really Just Me.
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