RIGHT THINGS FOR THE RIGHT REASON

This post is about wisdom and faith; it is about how we can learn to do the right things for the right reason.  Consider the following table.

THING REASON AN EXAMPLE
WRONG WRONG Stealing from a neighbor.
RIGHT WRONG Obeying the law because a of the fear of punishment
WRONG RIGHT Stealing from the rich to give to the poor.
RIGHT RIGHT Giving to those in need.

The table shows four options.

  • If we do something wrong for the wrong reason, we have done something evil. When greed motivates us to steal from a neighbor, for example, that is a wholly evil act.
  • If we do the right thing for the wrong reason, society notices no wrong, but God knows the nature of our intent.  Unless we learn to love our neighbors as we love ourself, only the fear of punishment stops us from abusing each other.
  • If we do the wrong thing for the right reason, we corrupt our good intentions. We act in the belief that the end justifies the means.
  • If we do the right thing for the right reason, then we act in accordance with the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule is most clearly expressed in the Book of Luke.

Luke 6:31 (Today’s New International Version)

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Matthew explains that the Golden Rule sums up the wisdom contained in the Bible.

Matthew 7:12 (Today’s New International Version)

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Scripture teaches of God’s love for us, and it instructs us to love each other.  With faith in God and careful study of His scripture, we each can become wise.  We each can learn to do the Right Thing for the Right Reason.

–Tom Salmon

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