Act Right, Do The Right Thing And Do Better

by Yvonne Chase on January 28, 2019

I am tired of reading post after post about forgiveness and grace without any mention of how we ought to live. Yes, we have to forgive others if we want to be forgiven by our Heavenly Father. With that said, can we get some “act right” in our spirit? Some do the right thing? Some do better because we actually do know better? Can we focus on treating each other well? Can we stop using grace and forgiveness as an excuse to mistreat each other? Is being kind to each other too much to ask? What about apologizing when we do wrong then changing our behavior?

An apology means nothing if you continually repeat the bad behavior. A true apology comes from a place of deep sorrow and sadness knowing you hurt someone. It comes from a place of repentance that says, “oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I never want to hurt you in that way again. I am going to do my best with Gods help to make sure I don’t. Please forgive me. What can I do now to fix this? How can I make it better?” Sorry is more than a word. It’s an action.

Yes, forgiveness is for me, so of course, I am going to immediately forgive everyone who hurt me, however, if we are going to live like Jesus and love like him, we have to do more. What’s the point of saying I forgive you if we continue to hurt each other and are complicit with those who mistreat others? What kind of forgiveness is that? I dare say it’s not Gods standard of forgiveness.

Actor Terry Crews shared something about this on Twitter that I believe is the way God wants us to be with others. He said, “I was unfaithful to my wife in the past. There are times I see her sitting in tears because of my actions that were many years ago so I simply go over to her, give her a hug if she’ll accept it and say I’m sorry. I will do that forever if I have to.”

Isn’t that how God calls us to live? Terry is sorry to his core that he hurt his wife. He wants to make it right and his wife knows it. He’s not slapping a band-aid of forgiveness on it then saying well nobody’s perfect and we all need grace. No! He is sorry! His heart is tender towards his wife and her pain. When a person’s heart is tender in this way, the tears dry up eventually and an apology is no longer needed. Terry’s heart has the right posture and is in the right place.

As someone else said on Twitter, “Don’t say “Nobody’s perfect” to justify bad behavior. Trust me, the people you’ve hurt know you’re not perfect. What they need to know is that you care enough to make things right. Take full responsibility. Start with, “I’m sorry” and make no excuses.”

The Bible tells us how to live. How to love each other, To have unselfish concern for each other. There are scriptures on top of scriptures about kindness, regarding others as more important than ourselves, walking in the fruit of the spirit, and living in unity.

Perhaps if we focused on loving each other and treating each other well so that we can have great relationships, then we wouldn’t have to keep beating each other over the head with, “You have to forgive.” As someone said in a movie, can we stop doing things to be I’m sorry for?

act

Alec Rowlands of Westgate Chapel in Edmonds, Washington, spoke at my church about being an excellent witness for Christ. In his sermon, he mentioned George Barna who has been doing research on evangelical Christianity. His overall findings are there is no difference; zero, zilch, nada between people inside the church and the general population. What a tragedy!

He continued with, “I love all the grace teaching that is going on today. We wouldn’t be here if it were not for Gods grace but it’s not a grace that gives us license to live any way we want to live. It is a grace that not only saves us but transforms us.

Alec and I are on the same page because the title of this post came about long before I heard his sermon. Here’s more from him:

Being a Christian today begins and ends with getting our get out of hell free pass and that’s all there is; doesn’t matter how you live, doesn’t matter how you treat your wife, how you treat your children, doesn’t matter whether you pay your bills, all that matters is bam, I’m a Christian, I’m in. We are living in a culture that puts a lot of stock in information about God, knowledge about God without necessarily us giving evidence in our lives that we know him personally and intimately by being a transformed people. Let’s not let ourselves off the hook. Let’s not make excuses for ourselves and our behavior that is actually undermining the gospel of Jesus at a time when America needs the power of the gospel and changed lives more than it ever has before.

act
Fruit of the Spirit

I say it’s time we get some act right, do the right thing and do better in our spirits. What say you?

Something to think about…

Are we using grace and forgiveness as a license to mistreat each other? Is our focus in the wrong place? Do we need to shift our focus to treating each other better?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Friday January 29, 2019

I agree 100%, Yvonne. We forgive all hurt and offenses because God forgives us for so much. We give grace because we need grace too. But when there’s a pattern of mistreatment, when there are repeat offenders who never change their ways or their heart, there’s an issue. It’s a heart issue and it starts with a problem we have with God. To resemble Jesus more and more and more shows we are closing that gap between making mistakes and sinning, to drawing from His strength within us to do “the right thing.” We won’t be perfect, that’s only for Jesus. Yet, we will do the right thing…the godly thing…the Jesus thing, more often. Expecting forgiveness from others and even God won’t be an excuse or a license for wrong behavior if our heart is in the right place.

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Yvonne Chase February 3, 2019

@Karen,

Thank you for articulating the heart of this post so well. It’s about the condition of our hearts. This is it right here; ” To resemble Jesus more and more and more shows we are closing that gap between making mistakes and sinning to drawing from his strength within us to do the right thing.” Amen.
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Karen, the next best thing to mummy January 29, 2019

Totally with you on all of the above #dreamteam@_karendennis

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Tracey Rosenberger January 30, 2019

Yes. People need to take responsibility for their own behavior and strive to be more like Christ instead of acting like the world and seeing how close they can get to sin without consequences.

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Yvonne Chase February 3, 2019

@Tracey,

And that’s the point of it all. We need to focused on being more like Christ. Our hearts need to be transformed so that we respond in love the way he does towards us.
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Lauren Sparks January 31, 2019

Good word. laurensparks.net
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Lauren Sparks January 31, 2019

This is a good word. laurensparks.net
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Michele Morin February 1, 2019

Hi, Yvonne!
It feels as if it’s been a long time since I visited here! I’ve missed your wisdom and heart!
Michele Morin recently posted…The Challenge of Women’s Work and the Great CommissionMy Profile

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Yvonne Chase February 3, 2019

@Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by and thank you for seeing my heart.

Blessings to you…
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Maree Dee February 1, 2019

I do agree for an apology to mean anything the person must want to change. I do get tired of being apologized to as if that is enough. However, I also know my decision to forgive has very little to with the other person and more about what I am called to do. keep forgiving over and over again. I do like your message about doing right.

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Yvonne Chase February 3, 2019

@Maree,

I read something on IG the other day that said the only apology I’m accepting this year is changed behavior. An apology without changed behavior is mere lip service that we all grow tired of hearing after a while.

Yes, forgiveness is for me and about me, however, I believe when we truly forgive and we really take the time to work out our issues, we can be reconciled and live well with others.

Saying I forgive you and loving others from a distance I don’t believe is God’s plan for the family of God and the body of Christ. He called us to live in unity with each other.
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Michelle Kellogg February 3, 2019

I agree but sometimes you can be sorry to your core and show it in your actions more than words but when someone you hurt isn’t willing to allow you to show them because they aren’t willing to forgive you no matter what you do, you have to work on accepting that and move on. You then have to find your own sense of closure and learn how to forgive yourself. Because not everyone is willing to forgive you and that’s okay. You can’t control how others react to you. I don’t know if that’s in the bible or not but that is my philosophy on forgiveness. I also believe that forgiving someone who hurt you isn’t as easy as people seem to think is but it is a journey to self healing and in the end when you do forgive, it is completely worth it. It gave me peace of mind and I was finally able to let go of things that prohibited me from truly living and being happy. That’s my take on forgiveness. Doing the right thing and acting right also looks different to everyone too but I agree that if we live to be our best selves and are sincere, that is us doing the right thing. #anythinggoes
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Yvonne Chase February 3, 2019

@Michelle,

You make valid points. If someone doesn’t want to forgive you and insists on being at odds with you then that is exactly what it will be no matter your actions. Some people aren’t interested in living well with others.

Agree that forgiving isn’t always easy and can be a long journey depending on the depth of hurt. It’s always worth it to forgive. Setting myself free is always worth it.

Doing the right thing for me is about what’s in our hearts. If our hearts are in the right place; a place of surrender to God and the person of his Holy Spirit has control, we will want to forgive those who hurt us and be in good standing.
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