Imagine for a minute that you saw one of your close friends steal something from a store. Your friend turns around and sees that you witnessed the whole thing. They flash a Cheshire grin at you and say, “If you are my friend, you will not mention this to anyone”. Now you are stuck with the decision of telling the authorities which you know is the right thing to do or keeping quiet because this person means a lot to you. But deep down you know what you have to do. The problem is that you do not want to have to go through it.
For those of you reading, you already know the answer and the outcome. You would tell the proper authorities and your friend would face the punishment they rightly deserve.
But what if the roles were reversed, and you were the one committing the crime? The same situation as above will apply to you. That gut feeling when you do or witness something wrong is not only your conscience but also God telling you that it is wrong. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17).
Doing the right thing can not only be hard but scary. You might end up losing a friend or family member, losing a job, or even losing your home. The outcomes might be scary, but if God has planned it, it will be good. It is sad to see how much people’s actions affect not only their lives but those around them. Granted when it is in good circumstances, the situation is completely different. At the moment the outcome may look bad, but in all reality, it is the best thing for you and the people it involves. By telling the right people, the person who is in the wrong will get help and hopefully learn from their actions. If they continue to make the wrong choices, then all you can do is show them how much you love them and try to let them see what they are doing is wrong.
I remember watching a movie called The Buttercream Gang. In this film, a group of boys tries to help their friend come back to living a life of good. They do so by loving him as Christ would. This type of love is unconditional, no matter what the person has done. Doing the right thing in situations such as these does not mean that you have stopped loving them, but that you love them so much that you do not want to see them continuing down bad paths. They will come to realize that someday. All one can do is act and love like God would and pray for them to see the error of their ways. We have all done things we are not proud of, but we can all learn from it and seek guidance to stop doing them.