Good morning:

When is “right” “wrong”? It sounds confusing and contradictory, but it happens. It’s right to tell the truth, but if you speak the truth to hurt someone’s reputation and make yourself look better, it’s wrong in God’s eyes. It’s certainly right to hear God’s Word and to speak to him in prayer, but Jesus condemned the hypocrites who prayed standing up in the synagogue and on street corners in order to be admired by others.

It’s easy to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Have you defended gossip about others by saying, “I’m just telling the truth”? What about grudgingly unloading the dishwasher or grumbling under your breath about an assignment at work and thinking, “OK, I did what I was supposed to do. My parents, boss, and God should be happy with that”?

There is more to “right” in God’s eyes than doing the outwardly correct thing. He says, “My son, give me your heart” (Prov. 23:26). Jesus warned the Pharisees, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain” (Matt. 15:7-8).

What truly is right in God’s sight are words and actions flowing from a heart which loves and trusts in Jesus as our Savior from sin. He has made things right between sinners and God by his holy life and his payment for sin on the cross. A living faith not only believes in Jesus, it acts in love for him. It does the right thing for the right reason. It wants to stay close to Jesus in his Word and in prayer, not to impress others, but to show honor and gratitude to God. It is truthful and helpful, not because it’s supposed to be, but because it’s what believers willingly do. “We love because he first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19).

In whatever we have planned for today, may we do the right thing for the right reason, and so give glory to the Lord who gave himself for us and now lives in us by faith.

Yours in Christ,


Our summer schedule begins tomorrow: One service at 9 a.m. with Holy Communion. Sunday school and Bible class are recessed until September.

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