Are you like me, you know what the right thing to do is, but sometimes you just don’t want to do it? Whether we want to admit it or not, we all struggle with this from time to time. Another thing that we sometimes struggle with is playing favorites. One person can say something, and we laugh about it. Then, someone else says the same thing, but because we aren’t friends with that person or maybe our personalities clash, we get upset and offended by them saying it. Solomon gave his children instruction on just this type of situation in Proverbs. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.”
I’ve had this conversation with my children before, and I’m sure I’m not the only parent to have it. A child has a toy in their hand, but they are done playing with it. Another child sees the toy, and wants it, and so they walk over towards the toy. Instinctively, my child picks up the toy and gets a death grip on it. A tussle ensues until I intervene. After being told to give the child the toy, my child retorts, “but it’s mine.” Even after giving the logical answer of, “you weren’t playing with it, and we need to share”, my child asks the familiar question, “why?” My answer is, “because it is the right thing to do.” I would love to say they lovingly comply immediately, but that is another story for another day. Has that conversation ever happened with your child? Sometimes, it even happens with adults doesn’t it? Someone has hurt us, and we know we are to love them and forgive them, but frankly we are having a hard time doing it.
In our text for the day, Solomon is not only telling his children what the wisdom of God is, but he is also telling them how to live it out practically. This is a vital lesson for all of us. We don’t want to read the Bible simply to get information. Rather, we need the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to transform our character and makes us more like Jesus. This only happens as we lovingly submit ourselves to His authority, and trust in His power to live out the Christian life.
My responsibility is to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. I shouldn’t do something out of compulsion or obligation, but rather out of loving submission to my Heavenly Father. Here is the hardest part of this, it doesn’t matter how the person is treating me or has treated me in the past. As a disciple of Jesus, I am to follow the example of Jesus no matter what. There can never be an excuse for disobeying our Lord and Savior. I’m not responsible for how they talk to me or how they treat me. All I can be responsible for is how I react in the moment, and how I treat them. On our own, this is impossible to pull off properly. However, as I pray and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, God graciously gives me His grace to respond how I should. So the next time you are struggling with doing the right thing, just remember that God has never withheld anything good from you. Ask Him for His help, and then do the right thing, because it honors God and it is the right thing to do.
By His grace and for His glory,