In times of turmoil and anxiety, it is good to be on the moral high road. The problem comes from thinking you are on that road when you are really not. The quote from Mark Twain on the right is not in the best English but it is spot on. We want to be right and that’s a good thing. Knowing what is right is the hard thing for many, but it should not be for true followers of Christ. He left us not only His example and His sacrifice, He left us His words in the Gospels and in Paul’s letters. Our problem is that what Christ calls right is frequently very hard for us to do. It is hard for us to forgive those who have hurt us, whether is was just an unkind word, or real physical harm to our person or to a loved one. Yet others have shown us how to forgive even when the sins seem unforgivable. If Christ could forgive those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” surely we can forgive those who have hurt us. Without forgiveness, there can be no healing and no peace and no progress on a journey heaven bound. It is right to forgive, it is right to love, it is right to care, it is right to feed those who are hungry, it is right to help the homeless, the tired, those who are defenseless and orphans and widows (Christ always told us to remember them). There have always been people who wanted to justify their wrong actions by saying that they were legal (slavery was once legal, wife abuse was once legal—the list goes on and on) or that everybody else was doing the same. See the quote above by Augustine of Hippo, one of the churches great leaders.
We know it is wrong to do many things that we want to do, so we look for ways to make them right. The trouble is that for intelligent, caring, Christian people, the truth is always front and center demanding to be seen. Many times what is right seems wrong for us because we will suffer consequences, but Christ calls on us to suffer those consequences as He will be with us and will always give us strength and comfort. As parents, Karen and I have often done things that were right for our children but which had negative consequences for ourselves. The right thing to do is the right thing to do regardless of what happens to us. How many movies have you seen where the hero or heroine has to sacrifice to do the right thing? I bet you can name many because I can. Yet, we never scream at the screen, “Don’t do it! It’ll be bad for you!” Instead, a tear may run down a cheek and the warmth of the touch of the Holy Spirit may be felt in our heart as we watch someone do a truly good thing no matter the consequences. For the next several months and for all who are in places where there is discord and strife, try to remember and use these two phrases calmly and quietly spoken: “I might be wrong.” “You may be right.” From here in Bunda, I can’t do a whole lot to make your lives easier, but if you begin to use these phrases, your life will be more peaceful, calm, and you will find it so much easier to forgive. Remember to be right with love filling your heart and caring in your eyes. The world will be a better place if you can, and Christ knows you can—He will help.