By Roger D. Campbell
There are numerous Bible exhortations for God’s people to follow that which is right ad stay away from what is wrong. In the spiritual realm, it is God alone Who determines what is right and what is not. Here are three New Testament passages that point to the need for Christians to stay with what is good:
“… Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22).
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good …”
(3 John 11).
Regardless of what happens in life, regardless of what others do or say, the Lord’s will does not change. Wrong is still wrong and right is still right. Let us look at some applications of these truths.
Wrong is still wrong, even if you are the king. King David slept with another man’s wife, Bathsheba, “But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:27).
Wrong is still wrong, even if you are my brother in the flesh. When Aaron led the Israelites in making a golden calf, regardless of the fact that he was Moses’ elder brother, Moses properly called Aaron’s action “sin” (Exodus 32:21).
Wrong is still wrong, even if you are my cousin. Korah’s rebellion against the authority of Moses and Aaron was wrong, even though he was their cousin (Numbers 16:1-11).
Wrong is still wrong, even if you were faithful to the Lord in the past. Good conduct in the past does not offset or cover up present evil. The churches of Galatia had run well, but someone later hindered them from obeying the truth (Galatians 5:7). Past faithfulness does not negate current negligence.
Wrong is still wrong, even if you are a gospel preacher. When Peter acted as a hypocrite, Paul rebuked him to his face (Galatians 2:11-14).
Wrong is still wrong, even if you are my friend. None would doubt that Judas sinned when he betrayed Jesus, though the Bible calls Judas the “familiar friend” of the Messiah (Psalm 41:9).
Wrong is still wrong, even if many people support someone’s wrongdoing. The Jewish leaders that wanted to see Jesus killed got the backing of “the multitudes” in crying for His death. Nonetheless, their action was evil (Matthew 27:17-24).
Now consider the other side of the picture. Right is still right, and truth is still truth, even if the one that tells me the truth is arrogant. His arrogance is unacceptable, but if he shows me that the Bible says Jesus is the Head of the church, then his arrogance doe not change that fact (Ephesians 5:23).
Right is still right, and truth is still truth, even though the one that tells me the truth is inconsistent in his/her own life. One may not “practice what he preaches” in the matter of being prejudiced toward others, but if he shows me from James 2:1-9 that partiality and racial prejudice are wrong, then the truth that he has proven from the Bible is not negated by his own personal inconsistency.
Right is still right, even if the one that tells me the truth has a bad attitude. The one that points me to the truth that Jesus wants us to seek first the Kingdom may be an envious, bitter, grumpy man that simply cannot stand people, but what he says about Jesus’ demand is still true (Matthew 6:33).
Right is still right and the truth is still the truth, even if I do not like it. An advocate of a modern “Women’s Rights” group may not like what God says about women not being allowed to have dominion over men in spiritual activities, but God’s instruction remains true, whether any human likes it or not (1 Timothy 2:11-14).
Right is still right, even if other people make fun of it. Jesus endured mockery more than once, but His message and course of action were correct, regardless of men’s negative reaction.
We read about it in the Bible time and again. We see it demonstrated in the lives of people in our generation over and over. People that are doing wrong often try to come up with some kind of defense to justify their wrongdoing. They may be able to smooth it over with other humans, but God still sees and knows. Wrong is still wrong.
At the same time, people who are told what is right, either about religious truth or else the reality of their own personal activities, sometimes try to dodge the truth by appealing to some fault in the messenger of truth or in other people. When all is said and done, however, right is still right.
May the Lord help each of us to have a love for that which is right and an equally strong hatred for all that is wrong in His eyes. May we each be committed to doing good and abstaining from evil.