Do you know right from wrong? Yes, instinctively, most would respond. As children of Adam, we have within us the knowledge of good and evil. It is evidenced by our conscience, which is an inner voice that creates remorse and convicts us with guilt when we do wrong. There are other voices as well, the voice of temptation urging us to do what we want and what seems pleasurable. The voice of providence and wisdom may have been instilled within us from loving parents, wise counselors, instruction or discipline. Believers have the voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit that directs, protects and corrects us with a presence and power that transcends all other counsel. Perhaps you have seen a cartoon that depicts a small satan behind one ear urging the character to do evil, while an angel offers restraint and right thinking in the other ear. The tempter always seems to prevail in the cartoon and the fallen human nature does as well, except where the power of the Holy Spirit is working in the life of a believer.
Knowing good from bad is not always pleasant when you are prone to evil and sin. Eventually the conscience is seared to the point that it no longer warns the wicked person and they go from bad to worse. They call evil good and good evil. This is so evident is American culture today. However, believers often struggle with this knowledge of good and evil as well. For example, when we judge others according to our limited knowledge and perspective. Even if we are right in our judgment, we are wrong to do so because we are not authorized to judge others. Moreover, we often consider our view as right, though the complete picture shows we are not. One example of this is when we see one person seemingly treating another unjustly and we take offense at one of the parties. Whether we are right or not, it was none of our business and there is no way that the offense we have taken up can be resolved by the other parties. Our perception is so limited we seldom have all the information with which to make a proper judgment, especially of third parties.
This is where we have a great opportunity to resign ourselves. Yeshua said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (Luke 9: 23-24). To resign or deny ourselves means to relinquish our rights, particularly those we have inappropriately taken upon ourselves. When we think we are right in our judgment, irrespective of the circumstances, it is a place for pride. Therefore, deny your rights, lay down all that you are or may be entitled to whether justly or not, and humble yourself before God and man. Grasp the freedom there is in not having to be right. Being right is a fleeting dream and hypocrisy amid an ocean of sin and wrong, but for the cleansing blood of Jesus.
The measure we use is the measure used for us. The forgiveness we give to others brings forgiveness to us. We brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing as we leave. Resigning ourselves to God is the wisest thing we can ever do. “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor. 4:7). Lord Yeshua, help us to lay down everything in which there is any trace of pride and cause us to walk humbly with our God.