There is a difference between what is legal and what is just. It is possible to lead a life in which all of our actions are aboveboard, but those same actions may still be morally suspect. There is incongruity between living by the letter of the law and by the spirit of it. As Christians we are expected to live in a way that is more than merely lawful. We cannot simply avoid wrong; we must focus on pursuing what is right. United in the Loving Power we call God, we are responsible to and for one another. We are expected to be unselfish and concerned for the common good. Even if an unjust action is socially acceptable or popular, we are called to live by a different standard.
Give us, O God, the courage and insight to live with love and justice.
Examine your life and critique yourself within the political and religious standards of our society. Do you obey the standards of “God rather than men”?
When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.
Martin Luther King Jr
Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
Conscience is God present in man.
A man’s first duty is to his own conscience and honor; the party and country come second to that, and never first.
The person that loses their conscience has nothing left worth keeping.