Do the right thing ∙
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. – James 4:17
47 And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished.
48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
New Brighton, Minn., June 30, 2014 (UPI). The headline reads: Good Samaritan saves Minnesota man’s life by bending locked car door with bare hands. A 52-year-old Minnesota man bent a locked car door in half with his bare hands and pulled a man to safety after his car caught on fire on Sunday evening in New Brighton.
Robert Renning was driving on Interstate 35W around 6:30 p.m. when he passed a car that was on fire.
The driver, Michael Johannes, couldn’t get the car’s electronic locks and power windows to open, so Renning “somehow pried his fingers” along the vehicle’s door frame and “bent the locked door in half from the top down.” After he created the opening, Renning was able to pull Johannes out before he was seriously injured, or worse.
“He did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half of a burning car to extricate a trapped person,” Minnesota State Trooper Zachary Hill told WCCO. “I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive.”
Renning humbly downplayed his “Superman” moment. “Somebody was in trouble he said. ‘You’re supposed to help each out other.’”
The burnt-out car (Credit: Minnesota State Patrol/Facebook)
In most situations, it is often intuitively obvious what the right thing to do is. Of course sometimes we never really know what is right or best. However, putting that aside, focus on those times we know what is right to do. Do we take a risk and do it? Are you aware of what the Father’s stance is on doing right when you know what it is?
James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Father will never ask us to do something that we cannot do with His enablement.
Father I recognize the extreme limitations that I have in many areas of my life. But I also recognize that You have also entrusted me with precious spiritual treasures, and responsibilities. Enable me to act wisely in Your service and complete my assignments.
Failing to act when you know what is right, carries a lot of overhead. The Father is always fair and just in His assessments. The Lord Jesus Christ tells a story to illustrate. There was a master who had two servants. He provided them with assignments and then left on a journey. Neither of them knew when he would return
47 A servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished.
48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly.
Luke 12:43 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward.
There is a built-in assumption here and that is that when the master assigns a task, he also provides the wherewithal to succeed in carrying it out. The Father will never ask us to do something that we cannot do with His enablement. “The servant who knows what to do and does not do it is more culpable than the one who does not do it because of ignorance” (Stein).
But there’s more. Privilege increases accountability.
Luke 12:48 When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
“Knowledge and privilege always bring responsibility. Sin is doubly sinful to those who knew better; failure is doubly blameworthy in those who had every chance to do well” (Barclay).
No one but the Father knows the day or the hour when any of any children of the King will meet Him in eternity.
Life in the 21st-century moves quickly and is filled with challenges and responsibilities. Too often our obligations are half done, put off, incomplete, or not even attempted. What are we as children of the King to do? The Lord Jesus Christ provides a perfect model. He came into the world with an itinerary planned in eternity past. He finished all of His earthly assignments and at the end, he said simply “It is finished.”
How did He manage to do this? He was in perfect communication with the Father and prayed for instructions every day.
John 6:38 I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.
John 17:4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
Each of us also has an itinerary planned in eternity past. As we ask the Father, He will delightfully provide guidance, a “list” of “Things to do today.” Be prudent and ask Him every morning. He will lead and strengthen us as we walk with Him through life.
Colossians 1:9 We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.