It’s easy to underestimate the difference between the person who tries to do what’s right and the person who always tries to do it! Here are some brief observations from my time on Planet Earth so far:
The one whose aim is always to do what’s right:
- … hits the target more often than the one who does not.
- … will be more self-aware more often about his actions.
- … will have a more accurate assessment of his failure rate.
- … will better appreciate the sinless record of Jesus.
The one who only aims to do what’s right from time to time:
- … will not hit the target as often.
- … will be more likely to be proud about the few times he hits it.
- … will not be as aware of his failures.
- … will not as as apt to understand just what a big deal Jesus’ success was.
These differences,which are easily reasoned out, combine into a huge difference in character! Indeed, just that single quality about a person that makes them want to do what’s right all the time—that’s a huge deal all by itself, and its crucial to becoming a person of high character! And many who lack that desire want to pretend they have it when they don’t. And isn’t that the difference here? Aren’t we talking about the difference between those who want to actually be something and those who want to feel like they are something? Isn’t this the difference between those who want the real thing and those who are satisfied with a counterfeit version of it?
Some have a philosophy that will say that to strive always to do the right thing is somehow obsessive or “over the top”. But this was exactly Jesus’ disposition! And far too Christians, I think, understand just what a big deal that is! And if we don’t understand that, what’s to keep us from thinking that our occasional act of love rightly qualifies us a “loving” people? Or that our occasional act of obedience qualifies us to be considered as “obedient.”
There’s a big difference between one who randomly hits the bullseye from time to time and the one who has learned to hit it even most of the time. And which one do you want shooting on your team?