|Volume 23 Number 3 March 2021
Right or Wrong?
Someone once said, “More people might do right if we could convince them that doing right is sinful.” Sometimes, it seems there is a measure of truth in this statement. There are many who run to sin, to fulfill its lusts and have their desires gratified. This thought is expressed time and again in the expression, “But everyone else is doing it; why can’t I?”
We tend to equate popularity with approval. So many people doing something, permitting something or consenting to something can’t be wrong. Or can they? King Ahab of Israel had 400 prophets to act as his “yes men,” to justify his desire to do as he pleased. When asked if there was a prophet of God who could be consulted, Ahab responded, “There is still one man who can ask the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster” (1 Kings 22:8). Translated, Ahab was saying God’s way often opposed his way, so he hired false prophets to justify his actions. This is reminiscent of what Paul wrote Timothy. “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Jesus put it this way. “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it” (Matthew 7:13). Why is this? Why will one do or live in such a way that he or she knows will lead to his or her destruction eternally? We allow ourselves to be deceived. Satan appeals to our desires, deceiving us into thinking wrong is right, and we follow him. What we need is education, understanding and insight. God’s Word can help fulfill our desires in righteousness, rather than sinfulness. A proper understanding helps us control our desires, instead of our desires controlling us. God’s Word points us to a better way, a more noble way, which offers eternal life. What desire can be greater than this? Isn’t this better than what the world is offering now?
No matter how many are involved, no matter how good it feels, no matter how commonplace it becomes, sin is destructive! In Christ, we have all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). God can fill our desires through His mercy and grace and love. His way is the best way after all.
Gary C. Hampton
School started this week. Parents either have, or will have, searched for all the items the school says their child will need to have a productive year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of preparing for a physical education, I want all of us to remember the importance of a spiritual education.
We need to teach our children to hold God in reverence. The Almighty illustrated the futility of worshiping idols (Habakkuk 2:18-19). Then, He said, “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20). Properly educated children will know the Creator and His limitless power (Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:24-25). Jesus’ model of prayer begins with, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).
Children must be taught the value of respect for authority. Paul said the first command with promise was, “Honor your father and mother.” He preceded that with, “Children, obey our parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1-3). The wise man told his son to, “hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9). Rebellious children were a danger to society and were to be stoned so all would learn to have respect (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
Successful people take responsibility for their actions. Children should be held accountable for chores, schoolwork and the study of God’s Word. Everyone will have to give an accounting for his actions (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Paul urged his children in the faith, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Both physical and spiritual education are important. Encourage your children to do well in school. Do not fail to teach them the three R’s of reverence, respect and responsibility.