Whatever is Right
Sometimes people behave in ways that are just not right! I have to wonder, however, if it’s only my opinion that an action is just not right, or if I am truly in line with God’s standards.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Phil. 4:8 ESV
The word just in Phil. 4:8 derives from the Greek word δίκαιος [dikaios /dik·ah·yos/], which is obligatory in view of certain requirements of justice, right, fair, equitable.1
God sets the standard for what is just and right. “So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12 ESV).
Colossians 4:1 reminds “Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (ESV). Our evaluation of what is just right is to follow God’s example. Followers of Christ are to follow His example.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.Eph. 4:32 NLT
We cannot expect the unredeemed to act as if they are redeemed, but unfortunately, not all who have been saved model God’s ideal either! The hurt that derives from such shocking misbehavior leaves us reeling as we strive to regain our balance. Why, oh why, would a Christian leader think he could disregard another’s calling in pursuit of his own agenda? Adding insult to injury, how often do Christian leaders mask their self-centered decisions with the claim that they are doing what God wants them to do? Believing they are infallible because of their spiritual leadership position, arrogance overrides empathy.
Innocent victims lick their wounds in silence. Only in a relevant relationship with Jesus can we move forward victoriously. No amount of time, no pat answers, no platitudes can relieve the aching heart. While Satan tempts us to seek vindication, John 5:30 reminds us that even Jesus had to seek the Father’s will. “I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will” (NLT).
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Gal. 2:20 ESV
Daily I must diligently maintain my connection to Christ so that I may continue to live. The One who suffered immeasurable injustices, even by Christian leaders, empowers the seeking to shine with His victorious life.
O God, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. . . .(Ps. 51:8, 10–12 NLT)
This blog post is part of a series on Philippians 4:8 – Think These Things: Whatever is True , Whatever is Honorable, Whatever is Right, Whatever is Pure, Whatever is Lovely, Whatever is Admirable, Whatever is Excellent, and Whatever is Praiseworthy.
1 William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 247.
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