To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)
You’ve probably heard it said that the same opportunity never knocks twice, but there’s one exception to that unwritten rule: the opportunity to do what’s right. Over and over again, we face the choice to do what we know to be right – or not to do it. How one chooses builds a life of integrity or deadens the conscience and leads to regret.
It is important to understand that there are many things that discourage us from choosing to do right. Sometimes it is ourselves. We want to do the right thing, but there is a cost to us – money or time – that we’re not willing to pay. It may be our well-meaning parents, siblings or friends who influence us to do the wrong thing at times. Other times it is the same voice that Eve heard in the garden so long ago. Remember that Satan has a vested interest in your choosing not to do the right thing as he is the champion of evil. He sends whatever thought or fear it will take to encourage you to make the wrong decision, and it’s so deeply implanted that you may never realize that it wasn’t your own idea.
It is easy to become overwhelmed at the thought of always choosing to do the right thing for the rest of our lives, so the best thing to do is not think of it that way. God is only pleased with us when our actions and intentions line up with His will. There is no way that we are able to make our actions and intentions line up with His will if we are not surrendered to Him. This is what we need to focus on.
Don’t feel like spending time with God these days? Do it anyway. Ask Him to give you the desire to make decisions that honor Him today. Eventually right actions that stem from a right spirit will become a permanent part of your personality.
Then the struggle to do right will become less of a struggle.