Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Passing the Ethics Test-Doing What’s Right by Martin Wiles

Series: Passing the Ethics Test

She entered the classroom and dropped into her desk. Shaundra* had a quiz, but her hurried entrance, speedy trip to her desk, rapid unpacking of her books, and worried look on her face made it obvious she wasn’t prepared. And out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the ultimate evidence…a small cheat sheet.

As the test began, she positioned her long flowing hair over her left shoulder and turned her head sideways so I couldn’t observe the paper neatly lying in her jacket sleeve. But I knew…and she did too. I waited until later to confront her, and she awkwardly admitted her sin and apologized. Though I accepted her apology and didn’t assign her a zero, a high ethical standard would have motivated Shaundra to do the right thing even though I wasn’t looking.

In considering the qualifications for worshipping God, David concludes right living is indispensable. Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD...Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right (Psalm 15:1-2 NLT).

Inviting Christ into our life as Savior brings with it God’s declaration of righteousness. The position takes diligent work if it’s to work itself out in proper life application. In plain language, God’s pronouncement doesn’t mean I’m always going to behave as I should. Like Shaundra, it’s easier to act right when people are watching than when I’m out of sight. My influence seems more significant when it affects others…my spouse, children, siblings, parents…than when it’s just myself at stake. But doing right is…well…just right whether in secret or in public view. God expects it and through the relationship gives us the power to accomplish ethical living. Make it your life goal to do the right thing when no one is watching and when everyone is gawking.

Prayer: Eternal God, You give us the grace and strength to make choices that honor You and assist others. May we depend on You for that strength when we’re alone and when we’re in the public’s eye.
*Name changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

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