The recent George Zimmerman trial and subsequent back lash to the not guilty verdict as well as the disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s run for New York Mayor fiasco has erupted into a national discussion about “doing what’s right”.
In time long since past, when the Bible was the absolute for determining moral and ethical decisions in our country, knowing right from wrong and determining the correct decision was far less difficult.
In our contemporary society however, “political correctness” seems to have replaced the Bible as absolute and the feel rather than the will of the people is the determining factor in most moral and ethical decisions; in many cases even surpassing the law.
Our nation has moved backward to the time of the 1960’s and 1970’s when the mood of the country was “if it feels good, do it”; a very dangerous mentality.
Even President Obama seems consistent in utilizing this process to selectively determine which laws he will enforce and which he will not; he has practically abandoned the constitution from which our nation was born.
Added to this is the estimate that among adults forty years of age or younger less than forty percent have ever attended a house of worship; it then becomes apparent that making right decisions has become increasingly more difficult for our society.
Make no mistake, just because a group or even a majority of people decide something is morally or ethically right doesn’t make it correct.
As stated in my article, “Knowing how to make the right decision”, people will always argue over laws and judicial decisions but the United States Constitution has much of its bases in the Bible and the Ten Commandments and up till recent that has been the American standard by which we have lived.
Without a moral and ethical absolute with an established basis, there is no standard or compass from which a society can determine its course; America has become a prime example.
America (as a nation) has obviously lost its course with no sense of purpose or destination; we are spinning out of control.
As individual Americans however, we can get back on course, regain life’s purpose and continue on towards our destination but to do so, we must learn how to do the right thing.
Consider the following three points in determining how to avoid doing only what’s popular and politically correct and learn how to do the right thing:
Develop a process
In my years as both a pastor and counselor I am convinced that most people want to do the right thing.
The key words here are most and want.
Not everyone desires to do the right thing and even those who do often find themselves at odds in actually carrying it out.
Since there are simply those who will never do the right thing, we must focus our attention on those who desire to do the right thing but sometimes just don’t succeed.
For those desiring to do the right thing, they must first develop a process; that is a means in determining the difference between what is right and what is wrong.
For those who are religious; especially those of us who are Christian, this is as simple as picking up the Bible.
For Christians the Bible is our base and our standard for determining right and wrong.
Still the process involves the acceptance of that standard.
Jesus said in order to do so we must become “meek”; that is we must allow ourselves to be controlled by God.
In doing so, we develop a process for accepting a standard of “right doing” and right living and allow ourselves to be controlled by God.
Examine the potential
Doing the right thing is always the preferred way and as stated in the previous point most people want to do the right thing but often find themselves in situations which make even the wisest person question what is right.
The easiest way in this counselor’s experience is to follow the teachings of Jesus.
This second point of examining the potential of doing what is right is built on the foundation of the first point.
When Jesus spoke to the crowds in His now famous “Be-attitudes” (what Dr. Robert Schuller called the “Be Happy Attitudes”), He said those who are “meek” (or God controlled) will inherit the earth and become blessed or happy because they develop a hunger and thirst for “righteousness”; which is just a Biblical way of saying people who turn their lives over to God find it easier to do “right doing”.
When God and the Bible are the basis for an individual’s moral and ethical absolutes, it simply becomes easier to recognize the positive potential of doing what’s right.
Become passionate in following through
Some counselors, psychologist, life coaches and even pastors often view life from a sports analogy; like many sports it often seems that the key to a successful life involves a few tricks or secrets.
Like sports, some players learn the tricks or secrets while many never do.
One of the most common of these tricks is more of an error and not really a secret; that is the old “follow through”.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Golf, Bowling, Tennis or other sports, if you don’t learn the all-important “follow through” in your throwing, swinging, tossing, jumping, tackling, etc. you’re going to be left standing alone; you’ll lose the game and ultimately get cut.
Doing the “right thing” is exactly the same way but even more important.
If you learn and develop a process, then examine and build on the potential of doing right but fail to “follow through” in every situation, your life could end up a real mess.
You could fail in school, be unsuccessful in your career, your marriage or even your money management.
We must all become passionate about doing right.
This doesn’t mean we will always be right but we must certainly strive to do our best.
If we had more people, leaders and politicians more concerned about doing what’s right rather than what’s popular, our country and the world would be a much different place.
May we all become meek to the point of hungering and thirsting to do right and in doing so may we become happy and blessed.