One cannot live in modern society without being aware of the discrepancies between what is legal and what is just. We can lead a life in which all of our actions are aboveboard, but those same actions may still be morally suspect. We learn from the example of the Pharisees that there is incongruity between living by the letter of the law and by the spirit of it. As Christians we try to live in a way that is more than merely lawful. We cannot simply avoid wrong; we must focus on living right. Even if a wrong action is socially required or popular, we live by a different standard. “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27-33)
Give us, Lord, the courage and insight to live with love and justice.
I will examine my life and critique the standards of our society. Do I 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.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.