Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wrong Reasons for Righteous Living

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace. The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
Proverbs 18:1-4

It sounds crazy but it is possible to do the right thing the wrong way, or in this case, for the wrong reason. However, wrong reasons may also involve an effective motivation to do what is right.
  • Because it's easy - Scripture tells us, and life confirms that it is not natural or easy to do what is right.  Actually it is just the opposite.
  • Because it's fun to do what is right - Responsibility is often translated as work and requires doing many things that are not enjoyable but necessary.
  • Because you don't get in trouble - there is nothing positive about this motivation.
  • Because you receive rewards - there is something selfish about this motivation.  These are secondary motivations. These are dog training methods. There is no element of reasoning in performing these.
  • Because it pleases others - (Mom, dad, the preacher, teachers, friends, etc.) Too many people discover too late that they have lived under this philosophy. It is a wrong focus.  In place of focusing on right or wrong, the focus is others. If you will do right for others, then you will do wrong for them as well. Changing groups can cause changing morals.  If your morals change and you compromise regularly you may be a victim of this mode of thinking.
Solid Reasons for Righteous Living
  • Do what is right because it creates proper character - Character is displayed by what people do, not what they think or believe. Doing the right thing often leads to thinking of the right way by the positive results we receive. A solid truth is, "Do what you want to be". Doing what is right normally leads to being around others who do what is right. Friends have great impact on character.
  • Do what is right because it benefits others - No man is an island, no man stands alone. Therefore, your right decisions bless my life and others around you. In the same sense, wrong actions, attitudes or responses affect much more than the individual doing them. Surround yourself with people who are further along in the journey. There is no reason to learn every lesson yourself when you have perfectly good examples right in front of you. Take advantage of this counsel and learn from the mistakes of others so your own learning curve is not so steep. You can take comfort in knowing that one day your mistakes may serve to help someone else
  • Do what is right because it’s fulfilling and purposeful - Very little pleasure or fun does anything constructive or beneficial.  God's guidance means that a fair question is, "What did you do this week or even today that furthered the kingdom?" Fulfillment is a much higher feeling than pleasure.  It gives a sense of self-worth and dignity.
  • Do what is right because it displays God in you - True morality without God is impossible.  For, without his direction, proper behavior in all situations is impossible. 2. The man who disdains God may be good but he won’t be right.  Right is more than good…it is the proper thing at the proper occasion for the proper purpose
  • Do what is right because wrong is sin and separates you from God - Truth is truth regardless of whether it is accepted or followed.  The truth is that sin is condemned by God and punished. You cannot live wrong and be right with God. It is God's joy to lead us into an abundant life, not for us to experience the destructive nature of sin or wrong.

Scripture to Claim:
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:6  

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