Are there any boundaries that must not be crossed when trying to reach a good end? Can a good result be tainted by the ill-gotten way it was achieved? Were the means a test of moral character? How many bridges were burned?
This topic can lead to fiery discussions when debating: Who will this good end benefit? Who will the means harm? Although for this writing, I’ll leave that for the debaters to argue. Let’s just agree for now that we are all on the same page: good is good. With that said, how can we tell if our actions toward that good end are ethically correct? Will sirens go off to let us know we’ve jumped the guard rails and headed in the wrong direction?
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
If our closet doors are opened, after coming to that great end, will skeletons of hate, abuse, greed, or manipulation fall out? The enemy will deceive us into thinking the “shiny object” at the end is where we should put our focus. His job is to hoodwink us into believing it doesn’t matter who gets burned in the process—even when doing a ministry for the church. However, God is focused on the means to that end. Therefore, our focus should also be on the means.
God is Love!
I view life as a never-ending test of faith and love. God’s test of our everyday activities doesn’t have a zillion queries; just one steadfast question: How are we treating our fellowman? I think that’s one of the reasons why He made us all different. It would be easier to love people if we all thought, acted, and looked the same. That wouldn’t be a hard test to pass; I don’t even think you could call that a test. But, mix in diversity and individuality—now the test just got real. (Romans 12:9-21)
Let God’s Word be the guard rails.
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 NIV)
See you next week on Paulette Talks Faith.