LATJ: Right or Wrong

24 09 2009

RightWrongGoOne of the misconceptions that the world has is that if you say you are a Christian then you should never do anything wrong or else you are being a hypocrite. When a professed Christian does something wrong you will hear something like “I thought you were a Christian.” Christians are not free from mistakes and sin, but they are free from the penalty of sin. They are blameless before God. What does it mean to be blameless? I like the definition that one of my teachers told me. To be blameless is “to sin less, and feel worse about it when you do.” A true Christian will have a desire to please God and to do what God would want them to do. And when they do mess up they will turn to God in true repentance and ask forgiveness.

Probably the most influential book, outside of the Bible, that has impacted my life is “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. He defines holiness as “nothing less than conformity to the character of God.” As to our part in holiness, he says “God does not require a perfect, sinless life to have fellowship with Him, but He does require that we be serious about holiness, that we grieve over sin in our lives instead of justifying it, and that we earnestly pursue holiness as a way of life.”

We have a choice in all of our actions and even our thoughts. We are always having to make a choice between right and wrong. So how do we know what is the right thing to do? Bridges gives us four questions to help us know right from wrong.

  • Is it helpful – physically, spiritually, mentally?
  • Does it bring me under its power?
  • Does it hurt others?
  • Does it glorify God?

When confronted with a choice of what to do, remember what another of my teachers said: “Do the next right thing.” Or better yet, remember what Paul said to the Philippians in chapter 4, verse 8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

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