Doing the right thing is not always easy. In fact, the path to doing what is right is often lined with great difficulties, struggles, and uncertainties. Doing the right thing also does not guarantee that everything will turn out fine nor does it mean we will have the support of others. In fact, it can be quite lonely at times, with no one to encourage us or to take our place.
Saul tried to kill David countless times, but David never retaliated. Though he had two clear opportunities to kill Saul, he refused saying, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master… seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” (1 Sam 24:6). David did what was right even though his servants urged him otherwise and he himself knew Saul would keep trying to kill him.
King Nebuchadnezzar once threatened and actually cast Daniel’s three friends into a burning furnace for not worshipping his gods. But before that they answered him, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace… but if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods” (Dan 3:17-18). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not doubt God’s ability, but were fully convinced that worshipping only the one true God was the right thing to do—even if it meant losing their lives before all those whom they had defied.
The father of the prodigal son also endured much in order to do what was right and necessary. During the time that Jesus told the parable, it would have been considered dishonorable for the father to: divide all his livelihood to his sons before he passed away, run as an elderly man, and plead with his other son who was angry with him. Yet all of this did not turn the father away from saying, “It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found” (Lk 15:32).
In our perspective today, would we still do the right thing if it were to go by unnoticed, or if no one supported our decision? Or if we had to suffer loss, endure shame, or be despised by others? Doing the right thing can indeed be a painful process, but it does not make it any less right in the eyes of God. As long as we act out of the integrity of our hearts, with a God-fearing heart, and according to the truth taught by the Bible, we can be certain of doing the right thing.
So, the next time we need an encouragement to do what is right, let us look no further than:
“unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).