Wednesday, September 15, 2010
~ "Okay, now what???
Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right. (Ps 106:3)
We can't possibly do all that is right all the time. To do that would make us perfect - and we are not! Matthew Henry writes "None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired." We are very unworthy - fortunately he is a forgiving God. He teaches us lessons we never knew we needed to learn.
My mother always told me that "honesty is the best policy"; she also told me if I told the truth, I wouldn't be in trouble! Not necessarily fact in that statement. There are always repercussions for our actions, especially the ones in which we are wrong. The excuse that we only "crossed the line a little" is of no consolation. Like anything else in this world, wrong is wrong - there is no gray. Sin is sin - doesn't matter how big or little it is - it's wrong, we know it and we do it anyway! So how do we get to right when all we do is wrong? We get there by admitting we're wrong, setting it right and asking forgiveness. There is no way to go back in time and "right" all the "wrongs" so we have to accept that God will forgive us and move forward. Turning over a new leaf only works if we leave it alone once it's done. We can't say we are sorry today and turn around and do the same thing again tomorrow - we have to make an honest, conscious effort to do right and be right!
I cannot lie - just ask my ex! I always get caught in it, so I don't do it! It's very hard to remember what you told someone and the truth always manages to spill out. Even the simplest little "white" lies have a tendency to trip us up. It takes less energy to tell the truth and you can always remember it because it is, in fact, what happened.
God knows our hearts. He knows when we are truly sorry for things we've said and done. He's waiting on us to ask him to help us NOT do it again. Even if some of the things we've done are "good" deeds, if they were against policies and laws (even man-made), it doesn't make it right if we weren't supposed to do them in the first place. Giving food to the needy is a laudable gesture, giving food to the needy that is destined for the trash (but is not "really" trash) is also a laudable gesture (and most likely the best use of it, since it's not taking anything from anyone's pockets), but if it's against "company policy" and is considered by them to be "stealing", it is wrong (and can be very costly if you were the one who was caught doing it). The rationale "it's only one candy bar; it's only a soda - it won't break the company" or "the boss said it was okay to do it or take it" is not an excuse - especially when you've been already told it's not okay! Some people tend to point fingers and throw others "under the bus" to take the focus off themselves. They allow others to take the blame for things they are also guilty of and lie to protect themselves. Pray for these people - for they do not know God!
God calls us to be honest in all matters! He holds us accountable for everything we say and do! Fortunately we have the robe of Jesus to be laid on our shoulders when we are presented to God in our final judgement. Knowing that we've done the right thing is not always consoling, especially if in doing so we've hurt others. But knowing that God has a plan for us outside of that situation gives us the courage to continue on, asking for grace and mercy as we go. It brings us back to where we need to be, where we are supposed to be and where HE wants us to be - in his presence.
(photo: "Food Waste" - thrown away and written off as such...)