He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
How often do your children come to you with questions to which they already know the answer? “Can I watch TV?” To which you respond, “Have you finished your homework?” Then they answer, “No.” You reply, “Finish your homework!” They unhappily stomp off as if there was some new revelation when in fact they heard the answer they already knew.
Many of us spend a lot of time asking God questions even though we already know the answers. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t ask God questions because you definitely should. But I do believe that in many situations we already know what God expects. Notice the opening words in today’s selected scripture, “He has showed you, O man, what is good.”
Doing right requires discipline and often requires extra effort. The right thing can seemingly take away some of our perceived pleasures or relationships. The right thing can make us appear cowardly or as a pushover. Doing the right thing can expose us to unwanted punishment or discipline. Do we really believe all the excuses given by people who are habitually late for work, or kids who seldom turn in their homework? They are lying to avoid the consequences of their behavior.
When someone has wronged us we want to retaliate and return hurt for hurt, even though we know our resultant behavior is unacceptable to God. Then there are times when we find ourselves in an embarrassing or compromising situation in which lying is easier than telling the truth.
When you are in a difficult situation with a co-worker, relative, or friend — how should you respond? When you are facing temptation — how should you respond? When you are in an unfortunate situation — how should you respond? Again from today’s scripture, “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
God has already shown you what He expects. He expects your behavior to be good, just, merciful, and humble. Even when right doesn’t feel right… God expects right behavior.
He wants you to “act justly.” Treat everyone fairly and within the confines of God’s directives and man’s law.
God wants you to “love mercy.” When you feel like getting even — apply mercy. Don’t give them what you think they deserve. Remember, God is merciful, and He desires that we be merciful.
“Walk humbly with your God.” That means that there will be times when you have to swallow your pride or deny yourself a pleasure. As you live your life before Him, you surrender your wants and desires to that which is right, pleasing, and acceptable in the eyes of God.
When you make the effort to do what is right, even when it is painfully difficult, God will bless you. Serve God with integrity. Do the “good” that God has already shown you. Do right even when it doesn’t feel right!
For more on this topic, check out this article: When You Fail to Do the Good You Know
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.