Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
June 1, 2014
Get up every morning and
try to do the right thing
counsel people who have gotten in trouble by doing the wrong thing. I invite
people to have hope. Though the past cannot be undone, a new beginning is
possible. My advice: Bury the past in the sea of God’s forgiveness and get up
every morning determined to do the right thing in every situation.
A new beginning may
require a change in the company you keep. If you run with losers you will
likely become a loser. Winners associate with good people, people who are doing
the right thing. People who are doing the wrong thing pull you down. People who
respect neither the laws of God nor man will persuade you to make wrong decisions.
Running with the wrong crowd invites disaster.
There are evil
people everywhere but there are also many good people, godly people. They are
not hard to find. They are the people who consistently do the right thing. They
treat others fairly. They refuse to lie or cheat to make a profit. They are not
perfect. But they simply get up every morning and try to do what is right.
Such people are
often Christians or Jews. Both Jews and Christians take their cue from God as
to what is right and wrong. That is why they are called “godly” people. Ask
them to explain “good” and Jews and Christians may sometimes mention the words
of an Old Testament prophet named Micah. His definition of what is good is one
of the most beloved verses in the Bible, Micah 6:8:
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and
what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and
to walk humbly with your God?
Micah summed up brilliantly what God
expects of his children – to practice justice, kindness and humility. He warned
us that God is not impressed with our “offerings” if at the same time we are mistreating
people and proudly “strutting our stuff” in God’s face.
Observe that Micah uses the word “requires,”
not requests. Fairness, mercy and humility are not suggested but expected. The
consequences of not measuring up to God’s expectations are severe, according to
Micah. Refuse to do what is right and God will not answer you when you cry out
to him. He will “hide his face.”
Godly people try to live by biblical
standards. They believe the Bible shows them how God wants them to live. Godly folks
do the right thing because they are children of God and doing the right thing
“runs in the family.”
My dad was a godly man. Not in words
but in deeds. He got up every day determined to do what was right. As a young
pastor godly people got my attention. Frank Hugh Pierce was such a man. He ran
a body shop and raised a family on a modest income. He did not have much of
this world’s goods but he did have integrity. He refused to bilk insurance
companies for repairs he had not made. Day after day he found the moral courage
to do the right thing.
The highest standard by which Christians
measure their lives is the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s eternal
“Plumb Line.” Conduct not “in line” with the character of Jesus is conduct that
is “out of plumb” with the will of God. And Jesus made it clear that the people
who are going to heaven are those who do the will of God.
Being accountable to a few basically
good people is a good way to find the backbone to do the right thing. Over the
years I have found it a blessing to meet regularly with a few other men who
helped me stay on the straight and narrow path.
Looking for a way to get out of
trouble and make a new start? There is no better way than to get up every
morning and try to do the right thing. Sooner or later, with God’s help, you’ll
be a winner. + + +