When It Counts

There are things in this life that are right to do and things and that are wrong to do… would you agree?  

Scripture: Romans 12:18
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 

It goes on to say…
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

So when we hear the Spike Lee movie phrase, “Do the Right Thing”…Maybe there’s another larger picture to consider. Would you agree that the phrase, do the right thing is just part of it? That it’s just half the story. That this popular phrase really has no significance in and of itself until its place within the framework of ‘choice.’
 
The choice to either “take revenge” or “leave room for God’s wrath” as it says in the scripture.

So let’s try an experiment and add something to this popular phrase.. Let’s instead try saying: ” Do the Right Thing… when it counts”
 
Most of us don’t just wake up in the morning wanting or even with the mindset of doing what’s right. Actually most of us are looking not necessarily to do wrong, but really (and let’s be honest here), we just want to get through the day. Sometimes our great ambitions give way to doing some noble act from time to time, that from the outside may look like the right thing, but it’s really just us following a schedule, ya know, that schedule we just sort of fell into. This is not for all of us but certainly we all have those days don’t we? I know I do. Truth be told, my natural inclination is not to do right, most of the time it is to simply do nothing, and this can be just as bad as doing wrong, can’t it? 
To be intentional about doing the right thing we must acknowledge that this “rightness” heavily depends on the circumstances that call for it.
 
So…When does it call for it? When does it count?
 
1. In high pressure situations:
Situations or circumstances that provoke a response. Demand a reaction of some sort, immediately. We’ve all heard the phrase: “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Where-ever this applies, this refers to those types of situations. Except it’s in the heat of the moment.
 
There are three things that can prepare us for tight situations:
  • Prayer: letting our requests be made known
  • Praise: just acknowledging His greatness
  • Worship: loving on Him, listening and communing

This is so we can recognize the Helper’s voice in time of need. Somewhere along the line we’re  deceived to think that this takes half a day to accomplish. Almost like in order to accomplish this critical time with our Maker everyday, we need to officiate a whole church service in our little prayer corners, neglecting our own her responsibilities for a time…

Even if it’s just one minute, we need the Spirit of the Living God to help us with this part. Not having been taught or trained in the societal niceties and philanthropic rules that dictate certain parts of a community, for influence or otherwise… I especially need this to guide my day and to do what is right.

 2. In a time of waiting:

Waiting can be the worst though. I hardly can speak on the subject without getting impatient. Waiting is not my strong-suit. How about you, do you like waiting?

 But here’s the thing. There are other people around us that our actions affect. When we wait to take action on some things that we believe should be in place depending on the situation. We rob others of “doing the right thing.” Is that right?

 A great example of this is going out Christmas shopping for ourselves. This may seem fun while we’re doing it, but then we find out if we had waited until Christmas day we had something much more valuable waiting for us. Given to us by another! We have taken away another’s opportunity to bless us or in this case, do what is right, when we act too soon.

 

3. As far as it depends on us:

 What does this mean? When I first read it, I thought that it meant do everything we can to attain peace. By whatever means necessary. Do whatever it takes to do what is right. But if life has taught me anything its certainly that that strategy is simply exhausting and doesn’t work. 

Have you ever noticed that some people are just NOT peaceable? What should we do then? Well, when I read the scripture now I see something much different: It says AS MUCH AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU. Broken down literally it’s basically asking us… what part of the situation depends on us… What part is within our realm of influence? Outside of that… it’s not ours! This is good news… Actually, venturing into an area that is not ours, or that does NOT depend on us is like doing the same thing I mentioned in the previous circumstance. It’s robbing the other party of their opportunity to do what is right.

 Vengeance is mine says the Lord, the ultimate space that is not ours. When it counts especially, we have a choice,  we are either going to ‘take revenge’ or ‘leave room’…. which one will we choose?

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