Doing the Right Thing

Last evening my husband Chip and I watched a movie, Nothing But the Truth.  It’s the story of a female reporter who writes an article for the Washington DC newspaper she works for. When ordered by a judge to give up her source, she refused.  I won’t give away all the details, but basically it came down to this:

She decided doing what she felt was right was the most important thing.

She ended up jeopardizing her relationship with her husband and son.  She stressed and inconvenienced others who fully supported her.  And in the end, she still adamantly held onto her belief that she should under no circumstances give up her source.  It was a really good movie.  I recommend it.

It left me wondering about Rachel’s [the main character] reasoning and decisions.  How far should I take the right thing?  At what cost does one draw the line?  While I’ll most likely never come across information pertinent to national security like she did, I have been involved in situations where I or we [as in our family] have given up instead of pushing for what some might construe as right.

Ministry can come down to that.  What personal cost are you willing to pay in order to minister to others?  While something sounds biblical and appropriate to those wanting to uphold the gospel, I’ve found that often little long term change is made in other’s lives, while meanwhile, one’s family is left in a quagmire and/or mess.  I shutter to think at the number of people I’ve witnessed do this, in the name of ministry, and am grateful that although sometimes contrary to my ideals, my husband pushed to free our family from this lifestyle.

This national election period has brought to light how staunchly some support the idea of black and white, all in or all out way of seeing the world.  In many people’s eyes, there seems to be a right way and a wrong, allowing no compromise or in-between.  Recently, our family’s dinner conversation went to talk regarding pro life issues and various politicians’ views on whether rape was a valid reason to acquire an abortion.  Mind you, I worked in pro life ministry for many years.  And I’d come to the conclusion that taking a life is wrong.

Yet, one’s ideals can take on a different pattern when sitting across the table from your 14 year old daughter.  She didn’t ask in so many words, but I know her thoughts were of this nature:

So, if I was raped and became impregnated, would you expect me to carry the baby?

Oh gosh!  That’s horrible to even consider, and God help us if we ever have to.  But I had to explain that, though I’ve believed for years it’s wrong to take a life, I could not possibly make her suffer in this way.  Not against her will or against what we might surmise would be best for her life as a whole.  I told her way more details than she probably cared to hear, about how the police handle such incidents and hospital visits and basically the nitty gritty of this type of situation.

I’m not a [Hey! Let’s all take sin lightly] kind of person.  And I believe that Jesus is the way, truth and life.  But I’ve grown tired of people declaring the correct outcome of difficult circumstances, simply because it’s their opinion, or they’re in a place of leadership and believe they’ve been given the wisdom [by whom, I’m not sure] necessary to make sure declarations.  It seems these folks are often males speaking about female bodily processes or people who have financial resources beyond the average and have no clue or care of what it’s like to live in financial struggle.

Someone reading this might come to the conclusion I’ve become a relativist.  My response would be that I don’t think I have.  Or actually, it might be that really we all are to some extent.  Maybe?  Answers to impossibly difficult questions don’t come as quickly when I’m considering the people I love with everything I’ve got.

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