Doing the right thing

I read a little quote the other day by good ole anonymous that I absolutely love. I wish I had thought of it first!

There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

It reminded me of a situation our son was in just recently. He needed to leave work early to attend an information session on becoming a fire fighter. Now, obviously, the intent here is that he would ultimately leave the job he is in, to be able to join the fire service.

He was unsure as to how to get an early mark at work without putting his job in jeopardy. The risk, of course, being that once they got wind of his aspirations to join the fire service, he would be dismissed. And as the start date for the fire service, should he be selected, isn’t until June, that would mean quite some weeks with no pay.

We talked around it, under it and over it; we talked about ways to kind of tell the truth but not really, of being evasive and hoping they didn’t ask questions. And yet, we kept coming back to the same conclusion: he had to be honest with his boss and tell him his plans.

I knew that he shouldn’t lie to get the time off – and it turns out, so did he.

He wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. He wasn’t willing to compromise on his beliefs. If he is wanting to move forward in life with God at the centre, as I know he is, then he needed to stay true to that.

He realised that there is no right way to do the wrong thing.

So often in life we think it’s okay to lie or bend the truth for the ultimate good. And it’s not. It never is.

We excuse our behaviour and our actions because we think that the ends justify the means. They don’t.

Ultimately, the wrong thing is the wrong thing, no matter how much we try to do it the right way.

And you know what? Our son was honest about what he wanted the time off for and he got it. And he still got to keep his job, too. Because more often than not, God honours our uncompromising stance on even the smallest issue, when the world would tell us it is okay to compromise. God sees our hearts, and in this case, He saw the heart of an upright young man who was willing to do the right thing, no matter the consequences.

There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

12 thoughts on “Doing the right thing

  1. As a former employer, may I just say to anyone reading, I always appreciated honesty in such situations. Particularly when the employee was seeking self-betterment, growth, or service to others. I would’ve been more apt to dismiss someone who I later found had deceived me. Kudos to you both!

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    • Yes Vaughn, I agree from an employer perspective too….in fact, there really aren’t any cases where honesty isn’t the best policy, are there? But particularly in these situations, it’s far too widely accepted that it’s okay to lie to your boss. Here in Australia, I’m ashamed to say, it’s almost a given. We’re pretty proud of him 🙂

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  2. I have struggled with this same sort of dilemma before. What to say? Tell the truth? or obfuscate the truth? Have I lost friends for telling the truth? Yep. Have I lost jobs for speaking my mind? Oh yeah. Truth is better. Have I suffered for telling the truth? Sure, short term. But I sleep just fine.

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    • Yes, like you say, sometimes there are consequences in the short term or even long term but the consequences for not telling the truth to our character are lasting and far more damaging.

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  3. This blog gives a grandfather a warm glow. It also gave him a smile when recalling his grandson’s mother, then of more tender years, and her inner conflict when questioned about tablets and towels. How sweet the gifts of mercy, grace and forgiveness are along life’s journey.

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    • Ah yes, and inner conflicts still go on…they are just about more significant things than tablets and towels 😉 I am pleased to say, though, my response is usually the right one these days!

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  4. What a special post, Susannah. I know you’re a proud mom who’s obviously taught by example. Couldn’t help eavesdropping … is the comment above from your dad?

    Thanks for sharing the truth and the reminder to always do the right thing even when it’s hard.

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