Right or Wrong
In that wonderful Book of Proverbs, we find many, many instructions for living as God would have us live. Personally, I read Proverbs often. I find that even though I have read it many times, truths that have never been seen before suddenly emerge. That is the way God’s Word works. It is living. It never changes, and in it we find the instructions for life. In Proverbs 16:25 we find one of the most profound statements in the Bible. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived gives us this little gem of truth: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” That is where mankind has loved to live for thousands of years and it is certainly true for today. People are doing what seems right to them but that does not make their actions to be in harmony with God.
We find another passage which is filled with instructions for life as well. In that wise little book of Titus the writer is speaking of Jesus in chapter 2 verse 12. The Lord tells us that Jesus appeared to us and came “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age.” That passage applies to any age in which people live and have their being. It is very easy, in reading that passage of scripture, to discern how the Lord instructs us to live.
With God there is no compromise. In fact, the word isn’t even found in the scriptures. Now, compromise is one of man’s most-used tools. We compromise everything. Parents compromise with children. An employer will compromise with employees for the sake of harmony and profit. One government will compromise its position somewhat in order to get concessions from another government. Politicians compromise in order to attract voters. People compromise what they know is right in order to follow the trends of the world.
On a more personal level, many people compromise themselves every day in an effort to get what they desire. Often, in the human arena, we find that some level of compromise can be good for all parties involved if, indeed, no moral or ethical matters are part of that compromise. So, generally, compromise is not a good thing when a person is asked to deviate from what they know is right in order to gain unity with someone who obviously doesn’t hold very strong views on moral, spiritual and ethical issues.
You see, compromise is actually a giving up of authority. Someone’s position of authority was diminished in order to “get along.” We have compromised so much in this world until we almost have no concept of ultimate authority. Many people today can’t see themselves as ever submitting in totality to any authority. That’s why so many feel that they have been able to reach a point of agreement or compromise with God concerning their eternal life. But listen, with God there is no compromise. Something is either right or wrong. It’s either black or white. So, we must understand that when we deal with God we are dealing with ULTIMATE AUTHORITY which will not be shared.
The open rebellion against authority became most apparent during the late sixties and the seventies. It blossomed then and it is still flowering today. In fact, we have a bountiful crop of rebellion against God. When Jesus said, “You must be born again”, He did not add “except in such and such a case.” When God gave us the Ten Commandments, He did not qualify them. He, from a position of total absolute authority, told us what He EXPECTS, and not just what He WANTS. And, He did not ask our input on the mater. He didn’t say “thou shalt not steal if that’s all right with you.”
So, there is right and wrong. Generally speaking, in human terms, right is something we are proud of and wrong is something we try to hide. No one condemns right but people generally do not talk about what they did that was wrong for fear of being found out and condemned. Remember this, wrong is rebellion against authority at it most basic level. That is why it is called wrong.
People rebel against the government. They rebel against the law. They rebel against their employers. They rebel against spiritual leadership. They rebel against parents. They rebel against God and that is the most serious rebellion of all. To rebel against the other things mentioned causes serious earthly consequences, but to rebel against God brings serious eternal consequences as well. The most important thing is not what WE see as right and wrong, but how God looks at the matter.
So now we have a whole society which is in rebellion against God and His principles for a proper life. Man does not want to live in the world of what is right or wrong, what is black or white so he chooses to live in the world of grey. The land of compromise is painted in the color grey. And, living in that land of grey, one finds that it is filled with lies and deception. God does not operate in the grey, compromising world; He condemns it. He lives in the world of truth and He leads us to know what is right or wrong. One can compromise, choose to live in the grey world, or they can submit to the authority of Almighty God. I think it is sad to conclude that this world in which we live has decided that it chooses the grey world of compromise, lies and rebellion.
There was once a television program called, “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.” That’s where we are today. We are living in a world that has gone mad and chooses to live in the world of “wrong” instead of living in the world of “right” where God instructs us and guides us into the way that pleases Him.
William F. Harrell