Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons

Here’s an interesting idea – straight from Apostle Paul’s little epistle to his friend Philemon…

How about doing the right thing – the difficult and challenging thing, the thing you really don’t find natural to do – not because of a sermon on it, or because someone pressures you to do it or “bribes” to get you to do it; but because you’re motivated by love to do it and you know it pleases the Lord!

Philemon, a rich Christian landowner, had a runaway slave, Onesimus. The law at the time would have sanctioned severe consequences if Onesimus were found. When he escaped, he went to Rome, somehow, he met Paul, heard the gospel, responded in faith, and served Paul in prison. Paul felt an obligation to return him to his master and sends a letter appealing to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus…

Listen to Paul’s appeal… “Though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you… I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment… I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart… I preferred that your goodness might not be by compulsion, but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant, but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother in the Lord.” (From Philemon 8-16)

Wow! All of us at some time or other in following the Lord in business, education, politics, in ministry – or just in relationships – will face a challenge that is somehow similar. What will we do? How will we respond? Will we do the right thing because of pressure or threat – or will we do it out of love, our commitment to Christ, and simply because it is the right thing to do?

Oh, Lord help me to always do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do as a Christian!

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