We were walking across the hotel parking lot where our group was staying. It was a pleasant day with just a slight breeze. The warm sunshine gave the solid promise of spring nearing. The conversation had ranged through many topics. Eventually we landed on the nature of television programs and both of us were equally dismayed at the display of flesh, sexuality and profanity.
We agreed that at home, neither of us subscribed to the cable channels which carried the worst of such programs, so being in a hotel made channel surfing that we were both accustomed to a risky proposition!
My companion, a relatively new Christian, went on to say how that such programs did not used to bother them at all. In fact they would have hardly even noticed the things that now seemed so inappropriate. But now seeing and hearing those things was clearly not right and they needed to be turned off. We had some additional comments about morals, children and the concepts of right and wrong before they said, “You know, it feels good to do the right thing.”
I don’t know that the primary difference between those who do what is right and those who do what is wrong is a matter of knowledge. I believe our choices are more often based on our desires. Which means we do what we want to do.
So here is a challenge. If a person doesn’t know any better, then when you teach them what is right, is it reasonable to expect them to change? But if they do know they are wrong and do it anyway, then what will ever cause them to change?
Paul said some people know God and know what is right, but they don’t want to do it (Rom. 1:21). There is no peace in life when you know the difference in right and wrong but choose to live in sin, unless you have “seared your conscience” (1 Tim. 4:2). There may be wild laughter and partying in the presence of the sinners but in the dark and quiet of the night the heart of the immoral person with a still working conscience will not be quieted.
For the Christian that means the greatest force for doing right is learning to want to do what is right. Jesus was sinless because He wanted above all else to do right. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” (Mat. 5:6).
- Tim Orbison