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doing the right thing

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David Pinckney is a man whose example I’ve been thinking about for the last 10 days.  I strive to be like him in forgiving things that fall on my “reprehensible” list (definitely not there yet), but I also understand some of his struggle in doing things that others do not understand, but makes sense to your definition of who Christ was and is. 

Last year, I made a poor choice trying to help someone, ignored boundaries, risked a lifetime friendship, and ultimately did not succeed in supporting that person.  After it all, my friend asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks– “Would you still have apologized if you had been successful in your attempt to help this person, or are you only apolozing because the effort failed?” 

After thinking about it, I was able to understand that in this circumstance I had been wrong for more than just risking a friendship– it was my issues, some type of “savior complex” that I needed to address before I kept repeating patterns in my life.  Yet this question and situation also confirmed that before you succeed or fail, you have to ask the question “What is the right thing to do?” and “What is the right way to do it?”  If you can be honest with the answers and have peace with your decision, then success or failure is not the plumb line by which you measure.

Another influence is being surrounded by “fairweather friends,” who don’t necessarily have to be friends, just people of influence in our lives.  Unfortunately, it is in the darkest hour of your life, the time you need the most support, that you discover fairweather tendencies.  In my life it is most characterized by people who have taken credit for good times and have Levite-priested in the bad.

David Pinckney has asked that question and risks failure, but at the end of the day, he is doing the right thing.  I pray that God will direct me to do the right thing by His standards in all the choices of my life, particularly the hard ones.

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