Doing The Right Thing

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Deuteronomy 6 : 16—19  NKJV:

Caution Against Disobedience


(16)   “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him
           in Massah.

(17)   You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord  
           your God, His testimonies, and His stautes which He has
           commanded you,

(18)   And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the 
           Lord, that it might be well with you, and that you may go in
           and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to your

(19)   to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord
           has spoken.”

There is and has been an age-old argument among men and women here on earth as to what is really right as compared to what is really wrong in and surrounding all areas of discussions and activities.  While most people paint the definitions of these two subjects (right and wrong) with a very broad brush allowing for great swaths of “gray areas” (loosely or undefined terms and concepts), we as nonjudgmental human beings like to leave lots of “wiggle room” when defining our own terms and actions.

This is all included within the confines of a true statement: We judge other people by their efforts and actions.  We judge ourselves by our own intentions.

Using this line of reasoning always provides us with the greatest latitude and range to wander.  There is a great difference between actions taken and intentions to take them.

There is also a great difference between doing the right job and doing the job right. 

Success is a planned event.  It does not occur by accident or mistake. Achieving it does not occur without careful planning and focused energy.  And using that applied effort must include doing the right things and doing them in a right and proper way.

Let us take a careful look at the application of this discussion from our historical past and then extrapolate the learned lessons on into our immediate future.

The State of Illinois is considered to be one of the most prosperous states in the entire nation today.  Many regard an action taken by lawyer and politician, Stephen A. Douglas, as the origin of that prosperity.  Mr. Douglas was a political candidate from the Democratic Party in Illinois.  He became the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the national election for President in 1860.  He was defeated by Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln.

In those days, our nation was undergoing a financial depression in the mid 1800s, and state governments began to panic about their potential looming  financial losses.  Th State of Pennsylvania refused to pay its debts, although it was considered to be a rich state at the time.  Illinois, a poor state at the time felt justified that it might also take this route in confronting its debt.

Now let us take serious look at just what we are actually talking about.  Permit me to share with you two separate definitions;

     Efficiency is doing things right.

     Effectiveness is doing the right thing.

The sad truth of the matter is that most people today are “Efficiently completely Ineffective.  They are doing the wrong job perfectly!  

That is precisely why there is so much unrest, disparity, and anger in our society today. Remember “You don’t know that which you don’t know.”  And if you don’t know how to personally succeed then you won’t…..succeed!  Success is not an accident!  It is a planned event.

When Stephen Douglas heard of this possibility (of refusing to pay their debt), he personally opposed the idea with all his might.  Although Douglas was seriously ill at the time of these boisterous discussions and arguments among the lawmakers, he insisted that he be carried on a stretcher to his rightful place in the state legislature.  Lying on his back, he made a historic resolution: “That Illinois be honest.”  His motion touched the deepest sense of morality in every member of the legislature.  It was overwhelmingly adopted.  The practice of repudiation was dealt a death- blow.  The result was that Illinois had to find a new way out of its financial slump—a way that turned out to be one of investment, growth, and eventually, prosperity.

We can learn a great life lesson from the thoughts and actions of Stephen A. Douglas regarding doing the right thing.  

There is always a fine line between the truth and the lie.  It has been in existence since the Garden of Eden.  It is the battle for a person’s mind.  Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, whether believe it or not—-in the long run of things,…Truth always wins out over falsehood.  The Truth of life always wins out over the lie.

Now, please, permit me to say to you that your personal character and integrity form the basis for the living of your own life.  When you are dealing with the “absolutes” of person’s life (including your own), Creator God’s rules for living always trump anything else.  I might also tell you that often times choosing God’s ways will not usually be the easiest and cheapest way to go.  But for absolute certain His ways will always be the right way to do things!

Doing the right thing always pays off, usually not right away, but the momentary relief of an easy solution is nothing compared with the eternal joy of choosing right!

Peace And Love to All of You…………………….Poppa  Bear         

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