When you are raising children, you work every day to teach them the difference between right and wrong. It is a parent’s job to show their kids how to make the right choices, say the right words, and do the right thing. Even when they become adults, this is still a parent’s fervent prayer, because we know that doing what is right is inherently the safest way for us all to live.
Stay in your lane.
Don’t dump toxic waste into the river.
Drive the speed limit.
Recycle your trash.
Don’t swim when the red flags are out.
Buy the low emission car.
Don’t steal what isn’t yours.
Wear your seatbelt, don’t smoke in Non-Smoking areas, never drink and drive, stop for pedestrians crossing the street, and don’t go into an area marked, “Do Not Enter.”
God, like a good parent, teaches us the difference between right and wrong, and good and evil. It is in his very nature to do what is right, and in his case, it involves showing mercy even for those who doubt him. He spares every person, but he has no patience for pride. Especially the kind of pride that makes us think we can ignore his rules.
Wisdom of Solomon 12 (Common English Version)
16 Your strength is the very origin of doing the right thing. Because you rule over all, you spare all. 17 You show your strength to those who doubt how powerful you really are. You condemn the pride of those who should know better than to doubt you.
God’s sense of right includes exercising careful judgment. This is probably the exact point where humanity goes a different way. I don’t know a single person who is capable of that. We are quick to judge and too selfish in wanting to do things our way. We take a lot of pride in exercising our individual rights.
18 Still, though you rule absolutely, you exercise careful judgment. You govern us with amazing restraint. If you wanted to, you could do anything you wished. 19 By your actions, you taught your people that those who do what is right must always want what is best for others.
God’s litmus test is simple. Those who do what is right are those who ALWAYS want what is best for others. If your sense of what is right is good for you but harmful to others, you’ve missed God’s mark.
Your sons and daughters saw that you give to those who have sinned a chance to change their hearts and minds. In this way you encouraged them.
Think about your attitudes and your behaviors. Do they match up with God’s standard? Do they reflect an attitude that puts what is best for others ahead of what is best for you? Or is your need for individual freedom outweighing what is best for the common good?
It’s never too late to change. God always offers us a chance to change our hearts and minds.
It’s never too late to do the right thing.