1 Peter 3:13-18
13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.
Recently I have been doing a lot of Physical Therapy in order to get my right arm working again after falling and breaking my elbow and shoulder last February. While the therapists are good, the work we are doing can be painful, as I have to move my arm in ways it still does not want to go. Unfortunately in my case pain IS gain…and although doing this work is the right thing for me to do as it part of the healing process it is taking a long time, and it can hurt…a lot!
Doing the right thing does is not always easy, and we are not always happy with the outcome, especially when the results are not what we would prefer…sometimes when we do the right thing it leads us into more problems and trouble; and when this happens, it almost seems as if we are being punished for doing what was right! However, if we do good just to get the reward we think we deserve, then we are missing the point…as when we do the right thing it should be done simply because it IS the right thing to do!
When we became single parents we knew it was the right thing to so, but it certainly was not the easier softer way…as while being a single parent can be an amazing gift, it also brings its own challenges as we are called to navigate the sometime treacherous waters of parenting…and often without a paddle!
As single parents it can be difficult to know what the right thing to do is…because being a parent is not always clear-cut as there can be many directions to take, and more than one ‘right’ decision to make…as well as many wrong ones.
Of course any caring parent hopes that their decisions will have good results for their children, and therefore, it can be argued that there are no wrong decisions, as long as they are made with the best of intentions. That said, just because the results may not be what we would have hoped, does not mean that the choice we made was wrong, as with my Physical Therapy sometimes doing the right thing means enduring some pain in order to ensure better results for the long term.
Because of this, it can be difficult for us to tell if we really have done the right thing or not, and all we can do is turn the results over to the care of God’s grace; however turning it over can take a lot of faith and trust in God’s presence in our lives…both directly through the scriptures and prayer, as well as through the support and fellowship of others…
And here is our good news: that we are never alone, we have the support of others to help us to make these decisions, and even when we do what we believe is right and things do not go our way, we are not alone and have many who can help us get through the tough times so that we can experience the grace of God in our lives!
It is true that doing the right thing may not bring us the rewards we may have hoped for, and may sometimes seem to cause more problems; however, by turning to God and to others for help, we can see that when we seek to do the right thing for our children, we do get unexpected rewards…even if we have to wait for them…for we can do no wrong if we act in faith, turning the results over to the care of God’s love.
When we seek to do what is right for our children, they will be able to see our love for them in action; and these decisions, although they may not always be popular, or pleasant, will help to keep them safe, and on the right track as they make their way into adulthood…and we can take comfort in knowing that we are doing our best to do the right thing for our kids, and in the faith that they are safely immersed in God’s grace and love.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for watching over us and our children; and for giving us faith that we can share with each other…faith that can help us do the next right thing for our children, and accept the results. Help us to support each other, as we seek to do the best for our children as we lead them along the path to adulthood. Help us also not to be too hard on ourselves for making mistakes, as long as we know we have done our best to do the right thing for ourselves and our children, and let us have faith in your everlasting love.