Right & Right
Posted on July 27, 2013
Running has made me a healthier eater. Quality inputs lead to superior performance outputs. It’s hard, however – and not advisable – to get it right all the time. Perfect nutrition would be boring and lacking in moderation, the buzz-word of consumption. Moderation itself can be taken to the extreme resulting in little temperance but much amusement. A bacon double cheeseburger or super-sized fries seems acceptable if we sacrifice the sugary soda for a diet drink. Instead of two “wrongs”, which never make a “right”, we have a “right” and a “wrong” and end up in neutral.
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have behaved in the world, and still more toward you, with holiness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God. 2 Corinthians 1:12
Doing the right thing for the right reason is sometimes harder than simply doing the right thing. Our culture and human nature tempt us to seek what’s in it for us. Selflessness isn’t intuitive for most of us. We need reminders to strive for it every day, and unfortunately, I frequently forget to remind myself. It warms our heart to help another … and warms it more when we feel appreciated. Wouldn’t it be remarkable if the giving alone filled us up and we had no need for thanks? Not even an expectation or hope of thanks? It’s a blessing to have resources to donate or time and talents to share. But, the recognition and praise that often accompany giving are also tantalizing. If we chose to act purely for the right reason, would our actions feel like sacrifices … or work … or an inconvenience? Would they be done joyfully and without resentment? We’re encouraged to give until it “hurts” and perform a variety of menial tasks for those who depend on us. If our hearts are in it for real, joy and gratitude will trump any temporary pain from the sacrifice of material items or experiences. Peace will melt the frustration that boils up from endless laundry and to-do lists. We’ll remember everything we have is His, entrusted to us as His stewards. And, what about prayer? My family prays before dinner, and we believe it’s the right thing to do. We typically say the same prayer, which beautifully expresses our thanks. It gets awfully speedy at times, however, and I periodically question our sincerity. And, if we say it at dinner, why don’t we say it at lunch and breakfast? We’re thankful for it all; it doesn’t matter when we eat it. To ensure we’re in it for real, maybe we should shake it up and follow our memorized prayer with impromptu, open mic time with God. I don’t want to simply go through the motions and forget why it’s the right thing to do.
Dear God, please give us hearts and minds that strive to do the right things for the right reasons.