2019-02-22 / Chaplain's News

Do right

Chaplain (Maj.) Matthew Sprecher
Fort Gordon Family Life chaplain

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

James 4:17 (English Standard Version)

The Bible’s command is crystal clear: Do what you know to be right. Do what you know is right whether you have been ordered to or not. Do what you know to be right whether someone is watching you or you are unobserved. Do what you know is right whether you are all alone or in a crowd. Whatever the circumstances, do what you know is right. To do anything less is sin!

As simple as this command is to understand, it is not always easy to discipline ourselves to obey. Circumstances often arise that makes doing right seem unnecessarily difficult and makes doing wrong appealing.

Our human nature is quick to give ourselves excuses for not doing what we clearly know is the right thing to do. But the scriptural standard is steadfast: Do what you know to be right.

In my role as a chaplain, people frequently come to me when their life is in distress. Their poor life decisions have caught up to them, and now they need help setting things right again.

Quite often it is not that they did not know right from wrong; they just chose to do the wrong thing instead of the right thing.

They didn’t like the rule, so they ignored it. They thought the law was too restrictive, so they broke it.

They thought the regulation was stupid, so they didn’t follow it. They thought their leaders didn’t know what was best, so they disobeyed them.

Telling the truth would have resulted in discipline, so they lied. They didn’t do what was right and now their life is in distress.

Most of the time when we get in trouble, it is not that we did not know right from wrong. We get in trouble because we do not do what we know is right.

The Army core value of integrity closely mirrors this biblical command.

As Soldiers, we are taught that integrity means to do what is right – legally and morally.

We are told that to live with integrity means that we do not say or do anything to deceive others.

In short, do what you know is right. This personal habit of integrity starts in the little things of life.

Begin today. Practice daily the discipline of doing what you know is right.

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