The June 16th readings included some of Psalm 51 and Matthew 5:43-48. Here is what struck me the most about them:
“Against you only I have sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” -Ps 51
I was thinking about a lot of what is going on nationally right now (admittedly there are a lot of things so this is about no particular one, just a jumping off point for my thoughts) and how groups of people think they are right and other groups of people think they are right and, naturally, that the other group is wrong — and how each cannot be correct.
Regardless of whether you are “right” or not it doesn’t matter if that “right” thing is not in line with God. You may have 100 people with you saying you are right. You may feel self-assured that you are correct and enjoy the support of those additional 100 people confirming your rightness.
But if you strip away everything the world tells you and focus instead on what God tells you — will you still be standing on the right side – that is, God’s side?
Now if, perchance, you discover that you indeed thought you were right because the world said so — and you then discovered that you are wrong in God’s eyes — what would you do?
Would you admit your mistake and turn back to God? Or would you cling to the world?
“Man cannot serve both God and mammon” (Mt 6:24) – You have to choose between the world and God.
Now if you are a God-fearing and God-loving person (and each of us should be) then you are called to choose what is right in God’s eyes.
Because at the end of the day — even if the world says that the world is right it is not right. And does your soul belong to the world? Or does your soul belong to God? You are in the world but you are of God. You belong to God.
This is why it is important that Psalm 51 points out to us that “against you only I have sinned, and done what is evil in your sight” — The world is not going to tell you that what you are doing/have done is sinful. In fact the world will do all it can to tell you that you are right and that you are not sinful in any way.
It is God that we must abide by – no matter how few or how many others tell us that we are “right”. So we must ignore all that the world tells us and focus on God. What do the Scriptures say is right? What does Tradition say is right? :: That is what is right. And we must not sin against God – no matter how much the world says otherwise.
Then there is Matthew 5 – about the sun rising on both the good and bad alike and the rain falling on the just and unjust. As you live in the world the world will not distinguish properly between the good and the bad. Just because one receives good things from the world or agreement from the world that one’s position is the correct one it does not mean that it is correct in God’s eyes.
In light of all that then how profound is Jesus’ teaching to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44) — That is to say, when you are right in God’s eyes you may be wrong in the world’s — and you may be persecuted for your position. But you are not to abandon those on the wrong side but instead you are called to LOVE them.
In a world so divided, so “are you in my camp or the enemy’s?”, so disagreeable to those who disagree with them — it is love that we are called to have for others, be they right or wrong.
So as you go thru life challenge yourself and your thoughts of your “rightness” to really assess whether you are right in the eyes of the world or in the eyes of God.
Pray for proper discernment of God’s love — and love all others as you travel on your way. For you are on a journey to God’s truth just as they are (whether they know it or not). “Whoever is without love does not know God” (1 Jn 4:8) so be that beacon of God’s love in the world and draw others in to God’s love by loving others — no matter if they are right or wrong.