Just Do the Right Thing!

Da Mayor: Doctor.

Mookie: C'mon, what? What?

Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.

Mookie: That's it?

Da Mayor: That's it.

Mookie: I got it. I'm gone.

Scene from Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing"

It seems like our lives come down to a simple thing: Are we doing the right thing?  It doesn't matter if we believe the right things, confess the right things, and have the right attitude, if ultimately, we do not behave or do the right things.

Jesus continually challenges his followers towards obedience to him.  The most ancient of Christian declarations is "Jesus is Lord!".  Christians are actually defined by this statement of faith (Romans 10:9).  Yet, our actual recognition of Jesus as Lord implies obedience.  Jesus himself would challenge the irresponsible status that we can call Jesus Lord, but choose not to obey him (Luke 6:46).

The Bible is quite clear that obedience is a demonstration of not only authenticity, but of love towards Jesus (I John 5:3).  In other words, we obey Jesus as to honor him.  This is not a legalistic, rule dominated religion, but a love based relationship where we seek to demonstrate our affection through being obedient.  We understand that our disobedience does not cause God to love us less, but that it does cause him harm or offense.  The entire book of Hosea is a great example of this.  In this book, God sees our disobedience in the same way that we would experience an unfaithful spouse.  He continues to love us, but is grieved by our infidelity.

From my own experience, and from the experience of the many inwhich I have had the pastoral privilege of sharing their journeys, I can tell you that we are masters of rationalization, denial, and excuse making regarding our failure to "do the right thing".

Vance Havner, a southern preacher of 50 years ago once said "An excuse is the skin of reason covering a lie".  He was pointing out that we make excuses for not doing the right things and thoses excuses are simply concealing a lie that we have told ourselves.  These take a variety of forms but sound like this:

I will follow Jesus when I get my life a little more together. This isn't a good time.

I love him and it feels right, so sex is OK.  We will eventually get married.

God can not possibly want me to give my hard earned money to those people

God knows that I do not have time to pray or read the Bible.

I was born this way and can't help the way I feel.  God understands.

We often make the excuses based upon feigned confusion (I didn't know) or convenience (It may make me have emotional, physical, financial, or social hardship).  While both may be true, most of the time we know the truth and we reject the idea that sacrifice for obedience is necessary.

This week, isn't it time to "Do the Right Thing".  Isn't time to begin to peel back the layers of excuses and expose the lies that keep us from obeying God.  Ask God to help you to do the right thing.  I would ask that if you are a Christian and you are struggling with this, that you would memorize the following scripture and mediatate on it three times a day for the next week (meal times are a convenient time to do this).

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (NLT)

God bless you as you "Do the right things"

Pastor M Traylor
Dr. M TraylorComment