Doing What’s Right

by Melissa Myers
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. (Romans 12:17)
As a young Christian, I had lots of questions and was frequently confused by the wording of certain scriptures. I prayed for spiritual direction, but it still took time for me gain proper perspective.
One evening my women’s study group leader challenged us to select a scripture that was difficult for us to interpret and then meditate on it until God revealed its whole meaning to us. It didn’t take long to find one.
Romans 12:17 not only confused me, but it made me a bit angry. The part about not returning evil for evil was easy to digest, but the rest of it made no sense. “Do what is right in the eyes of everyone,” seriously?! This was a time when I was getting a lot of advice from family and friends that did not know Christ. I was also getting advice from some fellow believers that didn’t fully understand my circumstances. They all certainly meant well, but the direction they gave was so clearly wrong that I couldn’t give credence to it. Yet here is this scripture, I thought, instructing me to do what these people are telling me to do. I prayed intently for understanding. I fussed over the concept for a few days. Finally, I went into prayer and boldly told God that I was not getting up from prayer until He gave me clarity on this scripture. It was then that He spoke to me in plain, elementary terms. I was compelled to repeat the scripture enunciating every word slowly. When I got to the word “eyes”, it all became clear. We are not called to do right in the thoughts or opinions of others, but to let others SEE us doing right. I felt like God and I had a good chuckle over my misunderstanding.
It is wise to consider the counsel of other believers and certainly to keep the peace with everyone as much as possible. However, God determines the right/wrong part, not us, not our friends, and not our families. As long as others witness us doing the right Godly thing, regardless of whether they agree or not, God can use that obedient example for the greater good.
Father God, help me to move in a right direction today, allowing that obedience to bear witness to your eternal goodness. Amen.

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