Friday, April 29, 2022

Do the Right - Martin Wiles

As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 NLT

They tried not to, but they just couldn’t help themselves.

Computer class. I’m the teacher, assigning my students papers to write. The trouble? Two middle school classes and several high school classes using the same computers. On those computers existed the files of all the students who used them currently and had in the past. Any student could access or alter any of the files. And some of mine had.

How did I know? Some students in the class finished assignments too quickly. When I investigated, I discovered their antics. Finding a file of another classmate who had already completed the assignment and then copying and pasting it into their document. After renaming it their own, they proudly said, “I’m done.”

One young man, more honorable than the rest who didn’t admit what they had done, approached me and asked if he could do what his classmates had done. I told him no. He didn’t. Others did it without asking. I took the opportunity to remind them about plagiarism and its consequences, both inside and outside the classroom. Since I’m older and wiser—and probably would have done the same thing when I was their age—I figured out a way to help them do the right.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it polite? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?”

Paul must have known how easy it can be to tire of doing the right things, especially when the crowd typically does the wrong thing. He encouraged the Thessalonians to keep doing right, regardless of what others did.

Doing the right takes courage. For the one young man who refused to follow the example of many of his classmates, doing right meant more time working on the assignment—and even doing so at home while the others probably played video games or socialized with their friends.

Standing alone comes with a price. So does ignoring the pressure from others to take the shortcut, even if it violates moral principles.

Only by God’s grace and strength—given by His indwelling Spirit—can we consistently do the right thing, which the Bible defines as integrity. Added to this is the necessity of believing absolute truth exists. Cheating is lying, and God has said we shouldn’t.

Ask God for courage to do the right thing—under all circumstances.

Prayer: Father, give us the courage to obey Your principles and commands. 

Tweetable: Are you doing the right? 

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