How Christians Can Do the Right Thing Even When It’s Hard.
Doing the right thing is often hard. I mean, if it were easy, people would do right all the time, yes? Sometimes it’s scary, even terrifying.
Sometimes physically or emotionally exhausting.
Sometimes terribly confusing. Even after you’ve done the right thing, the results back are not at all what you expected.
Nevertheless, doing right is what children of the light do, according to Paul, in Ephesians 5:8-9.
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So, live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true,” NLT.
Righteousness is a fruit naturally produced by the light of Christ inside us. In fact, the more I study it, I realize we must work to stifle righteousness from flowing from us. Right thinking, speaking, and behaving will naturally flow from Holy Spirit living in us. We are the ones who block or corrupt it.
When I need to do something right that comes at a price, I am unendingly inspired by Corrie Ten Boom. If you are not familiar with this sister’s story, you must read or watch it. There are links on the last day of this week’s devotionals.
In short, during World War II, Corrie and her sister hid Jewish people from the Nazi’s in their home. They paid a high price through arrest and imprisonment in various Nazi prison camps where Corrie’s sister ultimately died.
When I am tempted to shrink back or complain about doing right, God will often remind me of Corrie’s story. Or he will recall the sacrifices of missionaries Jim Eliot and Nate Saint, who were murdered by the Aucan Indians of South America as they shared the gospel with them. Or other heroes of the faith like Tyndale, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and dozens of others who sacrificed so much to do the right things.
If you are just joining us, my December blog posts are focused on a devotional I created entitled, “Four Gifts,” based on the Ephesians verses. Enclosed here with this post is Day One of Week Three with the subject of righteousness. The devotionals are written with simple words so they can be used for family devotions or with children and teens in other settings. They are available as free downloads on my website, pastorsfeistywife.com under “Bible Studies and devotionals.
Choose to do the right things today, the things Holy Spirit is prompting in you. Here’s Day One.
Verse: “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever,” Daniel l2:3 NLT.
To Think About
Righteousness is a big Bible word. There is an easy way to understand it. See that word “right” inside the bigger word? That is our clue. Righteousness means to act and think right. How do we know what is right? God tells us in the Bible. He gives us laws and commands. Let’s put that all together. A righteous person obeys God.
Some people don’t know how to act right because they don’t know God. My grandpa Robins was a pastor, but he did not always know Jesus. When he was young, Charley Robins talked dirty. He stole money from people by cheating them at card games and pool. Charley was also a ship builder by trade. One day he fell all the way from the top of a ship’s mast to the floor of the deck. He broke so many bones, the doctors told him there was nothing they could do.
Charley laid in his hospital bed and cried. He didn’t want to die. One day, a week later, a bright light appeared in Charley’s hospital room. Standing inside that light was Jesus. My grandpa knew it was Jesus because God helped his mind to see and understand. Jesus said, “Charley, I love you and I will heal you. I want you to serve me the rest of your life. I want you to tell other people about me.” That day, my grandpa changed from a sinful man to a righteous man.
Jesus healed Charley and changed him from a foolish thief to a wise man. He didn’t steal anymore. He became a pastor and preached about the light of Christ. He showed people how to accept Jesus as their Savior. My grandpa shone “bright as the sky.”
The prophet Daniel connects light and righteousness just like the Apostle Paul did in Ephesians 5:8-9. When God repeats something in his Word, we better pay attention.
God wants you and me to act and talk right so we can be bright like the sky too.
When others act wrong, but we act right, we point people to Jesus’ light.
When others talk ugly, but we talk right, we point people to Jesus’ light.
Prayer: God, help me to speak and act right so I can show others who you are.
Just for fun: Here’s some wonderful books for kids and adults with stories of people who lived the light of Christ and led others to him.
The Lightkeeper Series- Ten Girls Who Changed the World (plus four more volumes)
The Lightkeeper Series-Ten Boys Who Changed the World (plus four more volumes)
Same Kind of Different as Me Awesome book also made into a movie. A must read.