The Heavy Burden of Determining Right and Wrong

The Heavy Burden of Determining Right and Wrong May 16, 2023

right and wrong

The Issue at Hand (right and wrong)

We get consumed with right and wrong in this life. In other words, it is a burden that many carry around. However, it is most often not the actions of one’s self but rather others that most are concerned with. I have seen this direct the lives of so many over the years. Sadly, I have even seen this issue cause great division in the church.

In my daily reading today from the Book of Romans, I saw these words in Chapter 14,

“if the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.” 

Think about this for a minute and quickly evaluate your life. Before we worry about what our neighbor does, what about the one looking back from the mirror? If we consider this passage and compare that to what we believe, do things match up? The heavy burden of finding right and wrong most often needs to start at home.

Searching for the Solution

Understanding His life, principles, and example is vital if we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus taught in such a manner that all who would listen could understand. In other words, it was clear. The religious leaders hated Him. They saw Him as a hindrance to their rules and commands. Yet, he taught freedom through faith. He taught about talking to God directly and growing closer through a relationship with Him.

I often teach that “knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus” differs significantly. Many people know about Jesus. They have read books, maybe attended a church service, or even read the Bible. However, they have never truly embraced Him as the Lord of their life. Doing so opens to door to learning. It is no longer traditions or rituals passed down over the generations, but rather, it is His example we begin to learn and follow.

When Jesus stated, “Follow Me,” it was not merely the direction he was walking, but rather, the steps He took to show us life and it abundantly. If we look at this verse from Romans and consider “rights and wrongs,” would it not be of great value to see things through the eyes of Christ rather than our own?

The question posed in this verse is, “What do you believe?” If indeed that belief is that Jesus is the Son of God, lived a sinless life, died on a Cross, rose three days later, and ascended into Heaven after 40 days to sit at the right hand of the Father, that is where we start. Salvation is in that belief when entirely accepted and believed; Scripture makes that clear. Romans 10:9 states,

“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

So that part is abundantly clear; no confusion at all. However, back to understanding how we live that out and grasp the direction life should go, this takes us to “follow Me.” The arguments over right and wrong have existed for a very long time. Culture, society, tradition, and religion all play a role in creating those arguments.

However, if we follow Jesus, we see that when society says this person or group cannot speak to that other person or group, He went to the well and set the Samaritan woman free. When those around Him desired that He call down fire and destruction on His enemies, He said they needed to be prayed for instead. When religion demanded that nothing could take place on a specific day, Jesus healed a withered hand, and those whom He angered were ready to take His life.

Where do we go?

What is my point? As I read this passage from Romans, I can’t help but go to the mirror. I look at the man staring back at me and ask, “What do you believe, and is my life consistent with that belief?” If I take the time to answer that question and be more concerned about my doings than my neighbors, there is little time left. In other words, as it states in Romans 14:12,

“so tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.”

My thoughts on this today are clear. We allow the division to continue growing in our nation, families, and the church. We continually search for everyone’s right and wrong. Most often, the solution is simple, and surprisingly enough, the simple answer is found in an old country song written back in 1949. Hank Williams penned these to-the-point words: “If you mind your own business, you won’t be minding mine.”

If you carry hate in your heart toward another, that is not consistent with the life of Jesus. Practicing deception, shady business, and little care or concern for others, that is not consistent with the life of Jesus. If your “beliefs” do not change your life, then it is time to take a long, hard look at why, ask Him for directions, and follow Him. We easily find what is right or wrong when we look through the eyes of Jesus.

Do not let what others do keep you from growing closer to Christ. We will all stand before Him one day, and it will not be what your neighbor did wrong or what your fellow church member said, but it will be all about you and only you. The hate and confusion in the world today are primarily rooted in division among people. Who benefits the most when we do not stand together? The common enemy that we all share.

If you need an illustration, think of it like this: the hatred and power struggle between the people groups left behind in the series “the walking dead” caused them to fail and not think that their common enemy (the zombies) was going to eat all of them regardless if they hated each other or not. In other words, their division blinded them to reality. Unfortunately, the longer believers continue to fight each other, the common enemy we all share continues to draw closer to the camp and, indeed, has the desire to devour everyone standing in weakness.

Jesus made it clear that a house divided cannot stand. Many seem broken today. We can certainly see that our nation has never been more divided. Is the answer simple? It is, but the willingness to embrace it is where the issue comes in. So, what stands in the way? Pride, foolishness, unclean hearts, willful blindness, and every other self-imposed matter.

As we take a moment to reflect, consider the consistency of what we believe and how we live that out. The life you change might be yours, which in turn will impact someone else. Follow Jesus, and you will continually have clear direction before you. Taking the proper steps will be up to you, but He is always there to help you and will never forsake you.

You can follow my daily video teaching series on my Youtube channel.You can catch up on all my articles and thoughts on my page.

Blessings to all

Pastor Andy

About Dr. Andy McDaniel
Dr. Andy McDaniel has served in ministry now for over twenty years. He serves as Sr. Pastor of West Fayetteville Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Pastor Andy and his wife Melissa have three daughters and two grandsons. His passion for those who have yet to meet Christ is deep. In addition to teaching and preaching, he loves to write and produces a daily video lesson called "Making it Simple." You can read more about the author here.

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