SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Psa 106:3) Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!
It was the end of a long week and I was ready for a break. My family suggested a night out and we hit the mall. When we arrived I headed for the parking structure. I was feeling good and ready for some fun. So when I saw we needed to park up on top and there wasn’t anyone around, I put the petal to the metal. Man, was it thrilling. Like those cop shows that chase the bad guy. Those curves were the best! And the sound effects better than Dolby stereo. One of my daughters said “All right, dad!” The other one told me to slow down. And Cheryl? She kept saying “Honey!” over and over. When we finally made it around the last turn up on the top there stood like a sentinel with an iron gaze…the mall cop!
Well, I slowed down and slinked up to where he was with his hand held out indicating a nice chat was next on the agenda. I rolled down the window and sheepishly offered him salutations. He gave me the third degree and I just sat there taking the lashing. From the gutter of guilt I uttered a feeble apology and then cautiously inched forward, slinking into a parking stall. When we all got out I realized I had been busted by the mall cop!
Now part of me felt like what is the big deal? I work hard and why can’t I release the wild side every now and then? Then the other side of me said that the law is the law and I should have exercised restraint and been a good example to my family and others. And then the verse hit me…Blessed are those who do righteousness at all times. That settled it for me right then and there. Next time I will have to put the brakes on my sudden whimsicalness if it is not found in the wisdom of God.
“At all times.” That’s the challenge. Sometimes doing the right thing is the hard thing when you want to give vent to your passions. You tell yourself why not fudge a little? Your deserve a break. Let your hair down and let it all hang out for a little. You don’t do this all the time. You’ve been under stress and it’s time to loosen up and lighten up. But the Word of God says that each of us should know how to possess our own vessel (1 Thes 4:4). And the fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Gal 5:23). We are to reserve our passion for God and doing the right thing. We are to avoid misplacing our passions into other things that could be damaging.
God gives warnings. A person usually doesn’t fall overnight. It’s one little compromise after another until we are then entangled in sin. We are to heed God’s warnings. He puts His hand out in love and tells us to slow down. Obey. Submit to the right. We can let these warnings go unheeded to our destruction or we can receive correction and enjoy God’s protection. (Pro 10:17) He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. God’s Word also instructs us to do the right thing: (Psa 19:11) Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.
There is never any vacation from righteousness. Though no one sees, God sees. And we don’t know but that others may be observing or finding out in the future. (Psa 119:112) I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end. (Deu 11:1)“Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.
I’m glad God is not an arbitrary God, acting one way this time and another way another time. (Psa 36:6) Your righteousness is like the great mountains… Lord help us to be like You and do righteousness at all times! It always feels right to do the right thing. And there is never any regret. Now that’s the way to live!