“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Romans 14:12 (NIV)
Yesterday we thought of the motorist on the side of the road arguing with the police officer about why he should not receive a ticket for breaking the law. The motorist thought he had the right to be wrong. This is a loaded expression. When we hear it we instantly know that the person is obviously seeking to escape the consequences of his or her actions. But do we have that right?
Now it is abundantly clear that we have the ability to be in the wrong. I may choose to speed through a radar trap or cheat on my income taxes, or my wife. No one can deny our ability to get ourselves on the wrong side of the law. At times we all do this in word, thought, action or attitude.
Further we sometimes catch ourselves playing favourites with the matter of doing wrong. We reserve for ourselves what we would deny others. We play favourites. For example, we believe that the police should arrest thieves who rob banks or prey on the elderly to get their savings. But when we “steal” time from our employer and surf the net on company time and expect the company to pay us for the time away from work on the net we excuse ourselves for our theft of time and the company’s money.
Or we tell a little white lie and expect others to always tell us the truth. In so many ways we have a double standard about the right to be wrong. Sadly there is much evidence in the world that being in the wrong does pay but not in the currency we desire.
If a person mistakenly takes too much of a certain medicine they may suffer for it. Or if they forget to take their medicine they may also pay for it. If a person mistakenly runs a red light they may cause serious injury or death to themselves or others. So again we ask, “Do we have the right to be wrong?” Obviously the world says we do not have the right to be wrong.
It is the same in our relationship to God. Jesus made it clear that the only way to connect with God for time and eternity was through him. He said in John 14:6, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (NIV). We may ignore this law just as some people ignore the rules of the road. However we must recognize there are consequences we will not like if we ignore the laws God has built into having a relationship with Him.
Life goes much better if we submit to the laws God has taught in the Bible and seek to always abide by them. Jesus said twice in Luke 13:3, 5 “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (NIV). We may choose not to repent and run the risk that Jesus was wrong. However, that is a decidedly unwise thing to do.
Those who submit to Jesus’ teaching and come humbly to God will never regret the choice they have made. They may suffer in this life but they know they have eternity with God to make up for the sorrows here. Do you still think you have the right to be wrong?