Right Is Never Wrong

November 21, 2014
by Martin Wiles

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right."

During the 1960s, what was considered right by many Americans was challenged by others who believed that this right was actually wrong. For too long, black Americans had endured "separate but equal" status … until the premise was finally challenged and ruled an impossibility. No more "white" and "colored" signs above restrooms and water fountains. No more "Coloreds use back door" signs plastered near the front entrances of restaurants. The time had arrived for right to prevail. And prevail it did … through marches, sit-ins, blood, sweat, tears, hangings, beatings, murders, tears, loss, speeches, clubbings, dog attacks, police brutality, sexual abuse, and a number of other unmentionables. Doing right is never wrong, but it can be painful.

1 Timothy 4:12b – Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. (NLT)

Jesus echoed a similar theme when He informed His followers that they were "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13 NLT). Pouring salt into an open wound stings. Salt can even kill, but salt also has the capacity to flavour, and this is the aspect Jesus referenced. Paul told young Timothy to do that through speech, actions, love, faith, and a pure lifestyle. Exercising any and all of these traits is never wrong but always right.

Love and faith in the midst of hate were two prominent characteristics of the civil rights participants who challenged their haters to look differently at their own beliefs. So did their speaking kind words in their responses rather than ones dripping with anger.

I can do no less in a more tolerant society. Monitoring my speech so that it's filled with kindness, letting my actions reflect love and faith, and examining the purity of my motives are always the right things to do.

Never compromise by doing what's wrong in an attempt to manufacture a right.

Prayer: Give us strength, Master and Lord, to do right in spite of the temptations to do wrong. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    What a clear message for us all. Thank you.


    Thank you for the reminder. We must always be the leader when it comes to doing right.


    Very good, Martin. I hope that we never have to repeat the turmoil of the 60’s. They were troubled times. Thank you for writing about a very important subject.


    Wonderful devotional Martin. Your writing gets better all the time. This message was a great reminder to stand up for what is right and to follow Jesus’ example of love and kindness toward all people.
    Blessings.


    I believe, Martin, Thank you for a strong message that was well supported and needed. Yes, an obligation, a necessity on a person’s part. Your message has turned out to be an early morning encouragement and advice for me to begin this day which I am expecting to be a particular and an unusual challenge.


    Your message was right on time Martin.
    Very well said. It applied back then and certainly does now.
    Thanks for bringing 1 Timothy’s message to the limelight once again.
    Blessings in Christ.


    This presents a challenge, even these days. There is so much hatred and violence around the world. When I am not equipped to help change happen, my solution is to pray for hardened, or evil hearts to be changed.
    Good thoughts, Martin; and sentiments and actions so very needed still.
    Thank you.


    Doing something wrong in order to manufacture a right. I’d love to compile a list of those things that we do that are not actually purely right, in order to force something else. I’m thinking of Judas who may have betrayed Jesus in order to force His hand, to take up arms and show Himself as the kind of military power that Judas may have been expecting. Is that the sort of thing you had in mind, Martin?
    I really appreciate your reference to speaking with kindness no matter what. It is indeed a great temptation to vent our frustrations and take some form of retaliatiatory action either in attitude or word or deed. Thank you for this gentle reminder and admonition.

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