The Great Consolation: Doing What’s Right


“In many ways, sin is the punishment for sin. The more I choose against God’s design and give in to my sinful desires, the more I suffer even if I never get caught, even if no one else knows.”
Philip Yancey

I could be backing myself into a corner here. Maybe. Maybe not. You decide.

How much would you pay for a clean conscience? To sleep sound at night? To enjoy a guilt-free existence? What about the basking in a conflict-free zone with co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors alike? Ever considered how much value we place on treating (and being treated by) others with courtesy, respect, and selflessness?

It’s a high stakes gamble anymore just locating individuals willing to live sacrificially in theory let alone having to actually make good on any spoken ideals.

After all, since when did we ever believe that when a person makes a promise they intend to keep it? We used to consider someone’s word their bond. That and a handshake could seal a deal with nary a second thought. Which makes me afraid of how very far we’ve wandered from moral absolutes of any kind. Even saying there is a definitive right and wrong is considered outdated, out of touch, passé’ and better left unsaid.

But I just cannot agree. Since when does doing the “right” thing ever go out of style?

People still need a word of encouragement, surely that’s a “good” thing. People still need a helping hand when they’re down, surely that’s the “right” thing to do. People still get sick, some die, while their families grieve. Surely, offering comfort is the “right” thing.

No matter what we say, inside of us is a God-given barometer for gauging what’s right and wrong. And no matter what society tells us, our conscience smarts, we do feel guilty, and our sleep is disrupted when we make choices that go against this internal warning system.

So why do we fight it? Wouldn’t it be better to do what’s “right” instead of taking the easy “wrong” route? Think about it, if you’re going to experience some type of internal upset in response to your attitudes and actions wouldn’t it be prudent to decide to act “rightly” toward others from the get-go?

You can’t lose when you do right. You’re not only benefiting another individual on a person-by-person basis but more largely, and in ripple effect, society in general. Changing the temper and tone of society by single acts of kindness, who knew?

Face it, whether we like it or not, we reap what we sow. Even when no one else knows what we’ve done (or left undone), we know. Wonder when we’ll get it right?


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