At a certain point in a Christian’s walk, it is not difficult to discern what is right and what is wrong anymore. More often than not, we know what we should and should not do; the challenge is in what choice we make. Sometimes the greatest advice you could ever hear is also the simplest. My grandfather (Big Dad), a gospel preacher for over fifty years, has taught me countless lessons about ministry, preaching, and being a good Christian. One of the simplest lessons he always harps on has also become one of the most impactful in my life. He always says, “Son, when you are faced with a decision… do the RIGHT thing.” It seems simple. Honestly, just typing it out, it sounds a bit cheesy and simplistic. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard him give me this advice. I can even hear him saying it now. Growing up, it even became one of those lines you can predict is coming, so you just tune out till they are finished. The older I get though, the more I realize truer words have never been spoken.
Doing the right thing is not usually what is easy. The problem is, so many are doing what is wrong that it can make doing what is right almost unusual. Choosing to do what is right can almost make you feel weird sometimes. For instance, I do not know how many times I have been placed before deciding whether or not to continue gossiping with someone. I know the RIGHT thing would be for me to say, “Hey, we really should not be talking about this anymore. Can we talk about something else?” However, I know that with most people, that response will elicit some weird looks and even disapproval. Even though doing what is right might lead to a negative or awkward outcome, does that change the fact that it was the RIGHT thing to do? Of course not. Regardless of the consequences, what is RIGHT will never change.
That is the beauty of doing what is right. As a Christian, Scripture should have already made most decisions for us. While we do have free-will, our choices should be shaped by God’s will found in His Word. Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” John 14:15 and, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command,” John 15:14. If we are continually attempting to do the RIGHT thing, God is going to bless us. However, we too often choose to do OUR OWN THING and expect it all to work out anyway. Certain aspects of our personal, financial, and social lives should have already been dictated for us the moment we became Christians.
In the past couple of weeks, I have been tested in my own attempts to reach out to a certain individual. A benevolent need has required a few members and me to really go out of our way to help. I do not tell this story to boast or any such thing. I tell this story to show just how difficult doing the RIGHT thing can be. This man has aggressive cancer in his throat and mouth. It is going to require a total reconstruction of his face. As if that was not enough, he also is homeless. It just so happens that he lives in Athens, GA but the only specialist who will see him and treat him is in Augusta, GA. Multiple times, we have been compelled to drive to Athens from Buford to pick him up and take him to his Augusta appointments. However, I will never forget the first time I was asked to do this.
In my heart, I knew the RIGHT thing to do would be to “go the second mile,” but in my head, I could not get over the logistics required to minister to such a need. Sadly, and I hate to admit it, I even asked the person who called with the request to give me a minute to think it over. The moment I hung up the phone, J Hall, our youth minister, looked at me and said, “You know what the RIGHT thing to do is…” I will never forget that response. He sounded just like my Big Dad. So, he and I drove the man to the specialist and were there for him when he received the news about his condition. J even bought him a book bag stocked full of essentials. All the way there, and back we were able to talk to him about faith. A weekly Bible study has now been arranged with the homeless man, and he is on his path to becoming a Christian because of doing the RIGHT thing.
Sometimes, we make our decisions a lot harder than they have to be. No matter what choice we struggle with if we step back and ask the question, “What is the RIGHT thing?” God’s Word will show us the answer. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” It may sound simple, but the Church can change the world if we decide to do the RIGHT thing.
– Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism