Trust God to do what is right

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trust_God 1 John 1:8-9 (NCV)
… if we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.
John the Apostle emphasizes the practicality of our Christian lives if we consider what we hear, see, look and touch - 1 John 1. I call these elements ‘the four keys to doing what is right’. There are so many things that we hear that will not encourage us to trust in the Lord and to do His will. In fact, the media plays a vital role in terms of what we hear. If the Christian does not adhere to selective listening or hearing, there might be the tendency to believe anything. Hearing can also cause a Christian to lose trust for others. As we live our lives amongst other Christians and even non Christians, we may hear things that others have said about us or have done to us. It is ours to be considerate of such people and try to live at peace and in love with them. 

 Sometimes what we see could hamper our growth as Christians. It may cause us not to trust God to do what is right. I want to revisit the media and the internet issue one more time. As Christians, we may be tempted to see certain things that may not help our spiritual growth. These days, the media makes things very appealing that we always want to seem. But are these all good? It is our duty to make a choice on what to see and what not to see. That is why Jesus admonishes us that if our right eye causes us to sin, it must be cut off (Matthew 5:29). ‘Looking’ is another element worth noting. It is the superlative form of seeing. There is a tendency for many Christians not only to ‘see’ for the first time but develop a habit out of it. Many Christians are stuck with certain habits that are difficult to overcome because they did not manage what is seen. It is my prayer that we can work on what we see so it does not escalate to what we look at.

The last element is very important and believers need to be careful in handling it. This is the deliberate attempt to have contact with something that does not please God. I am sure there may be instances where Christians are faced with the challenge of taking something that does not belong to them or helping someone to do likewise. It could be in the areas of our work place, in the church, in schools and many others. We should be able to develop an attitude of doing what pleases God. These are certainly areas that need to be watched so that we would give glory to God by what we hear, see, look and touch.

It is important to note that as Christians, the good and sometimes, the bad things that we do emerge from how we handle these elements. Incidentally, those also dictate how we relate to God, both in private and in public. I have seen many believers attempting to separate these elements into distinct attributes. Unfortunately, the relationships between these elements are not logical but have causal relationships. What we hear motivates us to look and what we look draws us to touch. As humans, since our actions and inaction mostly result in conflicts even with our own priorities and sometimes, ideologies, can we honestly trust ourselves to do what is right? The scripture says ‘if we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves and the truth is not in us’. Even in our private life, do we genuinely admit all the sins we commit (without blame) and faithfully ask for forgiveness? While the ‘hear’ element would attempt to convict you so you can ask God for forgiveness, the ‘see’ element will forever portray the beauty of sin and attempt to glorify its ugliness. Once again, can you truly trust your instincts to do what is right even under these challenges?

I am beginning to love this verse. Let’s look at the second verse, it says, ‘but if we confess our sins’, the sins that the four elements made us commit, He, God, will forgive our sins. All that we need to do is to confess, and TRUST GOD TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. We sometimes forget that righteous living can only come from God. Regardless of what and who you are, and how much time you have dedicated to God, if you fail to trust God to do what is right, you labor in vain. Solomon, the wisest man in the history of mankind even understood the significance of this trust in Proverbs 3:5. He says, ‘Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding’. By this, Solomon is telling us not to depend on what we hear and see, and surely not trust what we watch and touch. Understanding here reflects our abilities and achievements; knowledge and even our failures. Solomon encourages us to learn to commit all of these, not some, to the Lord.

I’ve been talking about what we can do in private to trust God to do what is right. What about the outward manifestations of trusting God to do what is right? John gives us two things

(1 John 1:6-8). The first is to live as children of God. Many Christians attempt to be politically correct and have therefore given various definitions to what ‘Children of God’ really means. But regardless of what definition you accept, a ‘Child of God’ is noted by the uniqueness of their lifestyles. If you are faithful to your children and wife, you will be faithful to your employer and friends. A life exemplary to all, including colleagues, family members and fellow believers is the key to defining ‘Children of God’. If your light faithfully and truly brightens in your private life, it will surely overcome every darkness in your public life.

The second issue that John reminds us is to understand that we are humans. As a friend puts it, one identifiable feature about HUMANS is their ability to commit transgressions. He further says that one identifiable feature about CHRISTIANS is their ability to rise above their transgressions. What this means is that if you call yourself a Child of God, and you are not able to effectively translate the four elements from wrong to right, it means you haven’t fully trusted God to do what is right. Although God expects us to be righteous, He doesn’t expect us to be sin-free, especially when we live in a sinful world. Evidently, He doesn’t even look at the magnitude of our sins, but how we truly and faithfully confess them and trust Him to forgive us and clean us from the treasures of sin.

Righteousness, as someone defines it, is doing what is right at the right place and at the right time. Some of us do the right thing but not at the right place, and mostly, not at the right time. I want to encourage you as a believer in Christ that you continue to use the word of God as your measure of success and not by any standard. God promises us with wellness when we do the right thing – Isaiah 2:10. He promises a distinctive life when we live right with hall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Obviously not! God promises us with divine protection ONLY when we strive to live right with Him - Psalm 91:11. It is my prayer that God grants us the wisdom to learn to trust him so we can live right in His presence. AMEN

Him - Psalm 45:7. He promises us with divine provision - Philippians 4:19. But as the scripture says in Romans 6:1, ‘…. s

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