I’ve thought of my Dad in the past two to three days more often than usual, and even last night as I went to bed, was just missing him so much. This morning when I opened the cupboard for my favorite coffee cup, this one – though always in the same spot each morning, caught my eye, and again I was reminded of Dad. I had to grin, and have a little giggle. My sons had gotten it at a second-hand store for their Papa, who would always ask for “just a half cup of coffee.” They were little then, and couldn’t wait to surprise him with it and make him laugh EVERY time he came over. And, each time, Papa would pretend to be surprised, and laugh all over again, just for them.
Dad had the best laugh, the best grin, the silliest sense of humor, and charmed anyone within 100 feet of him. But even more than his laugh, I often remember his sense of integrity, his kind ways, and so often he would give us the most simple words of wisdom.
“It doesn’t MATTER what anyone else is doing. YOU do the RIGHT thing.” This is the wisdom I so often have shared with my sons, and even more recently it has echoed daily in my own memory. It sure doesn’t matter how old you get in life, doing the right thing is sometimes (often), certainly the most difficult.
I have found that compromising for a crowd really just leaves you empty and frustrated, and in the end just leaves you nothing short of a coward, really. Doing the right thing will often leave you all alone and abandoned, mocked, and betrayed (at first), but is still the best, and ONLY right choice, and certainly the only one that will please Christ. And He promises over and over and over and over in Holy Scriptures that He will NEVER, EVER leave us. I have to believe that this is even more true when we are standing alone doing the RIGHT thing.
On this Easter morning, I am reminded of Jesus, who, praise God, ALWAYS did the right thing! He was mocked by crowds, betrayed by someone in his own circle of friends, labeled by the most “religious” of people, and denied by one of his closest friends….. He was crucified by the very people He came to save, and if He had to, He would do it ALL OVER AGAIN!
He could have caved in, but He didn’t. He could have chosen to make friends with those who mocked him, because it not only would have made life easier day-to-day (very temporarily), He may have been more popular, liked more by the crowds, and perhaps He would have even had more friends! Maybe he would not even have had to die! But despite the difficulty, and how badly it must have hurt, He did the right thing, and He did that for you, and for me.
Wow, what a lesson. As I think about Easter from THIS perspective this morning, I can’t help but think that it ought to leave each one of us asking ourselves some crucial questions.
Who’s your audience? Who are you trying to impress? Are you compromising the integrity of the Gospel to keep a circle of friends?
1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” It doesn’t say, “Give in. Compromise. Say what will make others happy, so that you are not made fun of, hated, labeled, or discarded.”
This Easter morning, I am really, really glad that Jesus did the right thing. I hope you are, too!