Written By Natalie Waterson
Doing the right thing; we all know we should do it. As human beings, even from a young age, we instinctually know what's right and wrong.
Although doing the 'right thing' is proper – sometimes we slip up and do the complete opposite. And then we try and hide it, don't we? That's why little Johnny lies about stealing a cookie from of that cookie jar while licking crumbs from the side of his mouth. That's why sweet and innocent little Barbie doll Lucy, vehemently denies using her mommy's make-up even though her handiwork is still vividly painted all across her face. And that's why siblings gang up together to give the dog a make-over: complete with bright pink painted nails and a new freshly cut hairstyle - only to insist Fido told them to do it in the first place!
We laugh about these situations, partly because of how silly they seem, but it does get a lot less 'cute' as the kids get older, doesn't it?
For example, when Matt takes his father's car out for a joyride with his buddies, late at night without asking permission. Or when Melissa has that 'extra special outfit' stuffed in her purse that so that she can change later - knowing her parents wouldn't approve. Sometimes, it not even that serious! Sometimes we cover up and lie for a friend just to avoid an awkward situation. We justify it by saying it's what 'good friends do'. Really?
Telling the truth and doing what is right is complicated, and it often takes great courage. It means being your authentic self 100% of the time, despite the situation you might find yourself in. It means choosing to face up to the consequences of a situation – whatever they may be.
Okay, so those are all general examples. Let me tell you one that's a little closer to home; a true story, if you will. It happened a long time ago when my sister and I were just kids. I cannot remember what we did wrong, but it is safe to say my sister and I were in big trouble. Now, my mom was usually the disciplinarian, but on this particular day, she insisted my dad hand out the punishment. The problem was my dad didn't believe in smacking girls, and he only had two daughters. So, the three of us went into the bedroom that day where he whispered to us:
'Okay girls, I am going to smack my OWN hands really, really loudly and you girls scream and cry like I'm hitting you.'
Of course, both my sister and I thought that was a brilliant plan. My dad really was a genius. So as my mom stood by on the other side of the door listening in, my dad commenced with hitting his own hands very loudly, shouting stuff like:
'Don't you girls ever do something like that again!'
And in response, my sister and I hollered and screamed, cried and fussed - enough to bring the very roof down. Yet when that bedroom door was opened that day, everyone was happy. My mom, because my dad had finally 'taken charge'; my dad, for not actually spanking his girls; and us, of course, for avoiding an unpleasant spanking. Win. Win. Win. Problem solved.
We never told my mom what had happened for years and years after. In fact, we only confessed to it once we were grown-ups ourselves, and she could no longer run to catch us. When you watch TV or listen to the radio, when you are in the office with a bunch of co-workers, and they are talking about things they've done or even what they still plan to do – being courageous and telling the truth, being courageous and making a definite noticeable stand for what you believe in, is sometimes difficult.
Let's face it – it's hard to do. But then Jesus' life and sacrificial death (for our sake) wasn't easy either.
His ministry? Not an easy one.
His continuous opposition? Not easy.
The false accusations, cruel rejection, drastic sentencing, violent death?
If we say we believe in Him and want to follow Him, it means we do what's right even when it's uncomfortable or painful or to our own detriment. As Christians we need to take a stand and join hands. In a corrupt world where greed and violence live and breathe, where the weak and vulnerable are exploited, where love is skewed and tainted, and acceptance carries a huge price tag – let us be the difference. Let us not just preach Jesus with airy, empty, ineffective words but let us 'live' Him by mimicking the One we call Lord and Saviour.
1 Corinthians 15:58(NIV)
'Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.'
'The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 112:7 (NIV)
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.