Doing the Right Things

By Jamie Tisler

When my husband came home from work, he left the storm door unlocked. A few minutes later, Monty, my three-year-old neighbor, came in without knocking. He loves to come over for a visit, since there is usually a treat for him. Soon, with a treat in hand, Monty headed towards the door, but paused. He said to me, “Don’t you know you should lock your door?” His comment brought a smile and a thought, “You did not give me time!” This encounter has stayed with me. Each time I remember it, I laugh.

One thing that comes to mind were the things God has told me to do, and a verse written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17).

It makes me ponder, “Am I doing the things God tells me to do?” My answer, “Not always.” Perhaps in my disobedience, I had convinced myself there is some difference in the degree of accountability for the sins of “not doing what He says to do” and of “doing what He says not to do.” But I know better because James also said, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10). There is no difference; missing one point leaves me guilty of sin.

The key to knowing what God says to do is to read His word. It teaches and trains me to do the right things (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, I must make it a priority and I must choose to obey the things He says to do.

Remembering my silent thought once again, “Monty, you did not give me time;” I realize I had made an excuse. Likewise, how often do I fail to do what God says are the right things to do and make excuses? The word “time” in my thoughts also popped out at me. Time often contributes to excuses, “I don’t have time” or “next time I will do the right thing.” It was not by coincidence that three-year-old Monty came in my unlocked door. God used him to remind me to lock my door; and more importantly, He has things for me to do and there is no excuse for not doing them.

Lord God, thank you for the delight of knowing Monty; and how You used his visit to lead me to repentance and a more conscious desire to do the things You tell me to do. Thank you for Your forgiveness and grace. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Say Yes to God’s Word,

Jamie

 

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