The Trouble With Right and Wrong

I get up out of bed every day wanting to glorify God in everything I say and do.

Most days I fall short.

“Can a behavior be ethical but illegal at the same time?” my professor asked.

Interesting question, I thought. Ethics seem to be a tricky thing depending on what folks base their idea of right and wrong on. Ethics is simply a matter of right and wrong. The trouble is determining how to decide what right and wrong is and according to who.

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Legal and ethical behavior are closely related, like brother and sister. They continually cross paths, but do not always point us in the same direction. I am not sure how many behaviors are ethical but illegal. On the other hand,  I can think of several behaviors once considered unethical that are legal in today’s world.

The law condones some behavior, making it acceptable under the law, even though some people may consider it unethical. Conversely, something might be ethical but illegal. Same-sex marriage, abortion, legalization of marijuana, and euthanasia are current topics that come to mind when I think about what is legal versus what is ethical. I suppose that is where the standard we use to decide right from wrong comes into play.RBantau 2017

There was a time in our nation when it was perfectly legal to own a slave. Even so, that did not make it right or ethical.

In most States, marijuana is still illegal. However, there are studies that have shown that marijuana may be better in treating cancer than chemotherapy. If I had a loved one with cancer would it not be ethical for a doctor to treat them with marijuana if that is what helped them? It is certainly illegal.

Let’s take it a step further. Their cancer is terminal. Nothing will save their life. The only option left is easing their suffering. Would it be ethical for them to end their life if that is what they decided they wanted to do? Would it be ethical for someone to help them? It is illegal.

I think it is easy for us to answer these questions from afar; but we really do not know how we will respond until we face crossing that bridge.

We need a solid foundation for figuring out what is right and wrong. Our different government agencies dictate what is legal versus what is not.

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For me, personally, my faith provides me with a foundation of what God considers right or wrong. I believe God is the Creator and ultimate authority of the Universe. Therefore, it only makes sense that I rely on His standard for right and wrong (ethical behavior).

This may not work for you. You may rely on something else. Shrug. All I can tell you is God has worked faithfully for me even when I have not been faithful to Him.

I am grateful that whether I do right or if I do wrong God remains faithful in His grace and mercy toward me. He is faithful to love me even though I don’t always get it right.

Here We Are To Worship

Worship is our human response to God, acknowledging God’s worth and ascribing to God the glory that His name is due. As we bow down to our Creator, we recognize our relationship with our Maker. We come to the alter in awe of all God has done for us. We praise Him simply for who He is and what He has carried out in our lives. Once we were sinful wretches, spiritually blind and lost, whom God chose to shower with His grace and mercy, redeeming us into a right relationship with Himself through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Here I Am to Worship written by Tim Hughes

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

So here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God

And You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days, oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor

And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

I do not know about you, but when I think about the Lord, I am overwhelmed by our Father’s love for us. His goodness blows me away. God is great. He is steadfast and faithful. Our God is truly an awesome God, who’s wonders never cease and who’s love never ends.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV)

I haven’t always felt this way about God. Truth be told, it took me a long time to make my way through the door and kneel at the altar. I am grateful that through my journey, people prayed for me and God never gave up on me.

If you’re been wandering, lost and alone, know that God hasn’t given up on you either.

I’m praying for you.

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Free photos courtesy of Pixabay.

Original photos by Rainer Bantau Photography ©2017.