As Stan poured some pure maple syrup on his blueberry pancakes, he said, “You know, these guys really know how to do it right. Pure maple syrup, not just some of that fake sweet stuff.”
“You’re right,” I replied. “They do it right. I wonder why the other places don’t.”
“Jesus wondered the same thing,” Stan said. “And, no, before you ask, He wasn’t talking about maple syrup!”
I laughed and asked, “What was He talking about?”
“Everything to do with what’s right,” Stan replied. “It looks to me like that’s what He asked at one point when He was talking to a whole bunch of people, not just to the disciples.”
“Why? What’d He say?”
“Luke’s gospel records that Jesus asked them, in essence, ‘Why don’t you, all by yourselves, figure out what is right?’”
“Oh,” I replied. “Great question! It really gets to the heart of everything!”
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “Jesus asked a lot of great questions. He still does. This particular one makes me think about why I don’t know and why I don’t do what’s right.”
“If that’s the question,” I said, “what’s the answer?”
“If I’m honest about it,” Stan replied, “it’s always the same answer I have for everything like this.”
“In what way?”
“Choice,” was his one-word answer. “I choose not to know what’s right in God’s sight by not meditating on His word, by not asking Him about it in prayer, and by not looking to the Holy Spirit to lead me.”
“And then, of course,” he continued, “there’s always the choice of what I do, even when I know what’s right and what’s wrong. Too often I choose to do what I know is not right.”
“Any particular reason for that?” I asked.
“Again,” he replied, “it’s the same as always. It’s the failure to deny what I want to do apart from God, it’s the failure to take up what is right rather than what is wrong, and, of course, it’s the failure to follow where God has for me to go as His child.”
“You know,” I commented, “what you just said sounds kind of like ignoring the three basic steps of discipleship. Not denying self, not taking up what we are to take up, and not following. Could it be as simple as that?”
“Could be,” Stan replied, “and probably is!”
Bible verses to consider:
And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? Luke 12:57.
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6.
Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; . . . , but that you may do what is right. 2 Corinthians 13:7.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving your only begotten Son so I can be right with you for all of eternity. I confess that too often, I choose to do what is wrong in my relationship with you, rather than what I know is right. Please forgive the foolishness of those choices. Please help me to follow every step of your lead in knowing and doing what is right in your sight. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Are you right with God in the sense that you have accepted His free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him? If no, why do you choose to not be right with God? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with what you choose to do while you remain on this side of eternity? If you sense the need for change in any of this, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why no?