Doing Good vs. Doing Right
We, as Christians, tend to get stuck doing the good thing instead of the right thing. Let me explain.
John 11 tells the story of Jesus miraculously raising Lazarus from the dead. The story starts with men informing Jesus that Lazarus is sick and needs healing. Jesus, rather than go immediately, stays where he is for two more days. By the time He gets to Lazarus’ town, Lazarus has passed. He then goes to his tomb and raises him back to life.
Why did Jesus stay two more days? Why didn’t He rush immediately to help Lazarus? Wouldn’t it have been the good thing to do as a friend?
We know the answer. It’s so that Jesus could raise Lazarus back to life, and thus, cause more people to turn to Him and give greater glory to the Father.
Healing Lazarus would have affirmed Jesus' power over sickness.
But raising him from the dead declared his power even over death.
This is a perfect example of a good thing vs. a right thing.
Good thing: Jesus rushing to see Lazarus and healing his sickness.
Right thing: Jesus waiting to see Lazarus, and instead raising him from the dead.
A good thing is that which is morally right, true and based on the Word.
A right thing is the will of God.
He has given us guidelines and rules on how we are to live, and many times, we just take it and do it (good thing) instead of asking God how He wants us to act them out (right thing).
Now let’s apply this to 21st century Christian living.
Good thing: Taking an AP class.
Right thing: Does God want me to take an AP class?
Good thing: Serving in a particular ministry at church.
Right thing: Does God want me to serve in this ministry? And if so, how often?
Good thing: Dating a Christian person.
Right thing: Does God want me to date this person? Does He even want me to date right now?
You might be wondering, isn’t a good thing part of His will? To give our excellence? To serve in church? To be equally yoked? Yes, it definitely is! But then wouldn’t it have been a good thing for Jesus to go immediately to see Lazarus rather than delay? You might say, that’s different!
Jesus is God, He knows everything.
E X A C T L Y. He knows everything. So why not ask Him? Don’t you think it’s possible that He might just have a Lazarus experience in store for you?
Discerning His will and actively seeking it out in our lives are central to our relationship with God. We know this. But we don’t realize that it applies not just to the big things, but to the everyday little things, and most especially the good things. Remember, Satan is a deceiver. His specialty is taking a good thing and using it for harm. But if it’s a right thing, something at the center of the will of God, he has no room to crash the party.