Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bragging Rights

I had the opportunity to do something wrong the other day. Something that I had managed to rationalize as not being really wrong, but more like temporarily incorrect. Because I would be able to right this wrong, fairly quickly, and everything would be okay.

But something--I guess it was my conscience--made me stop short. I didn't need to convince myself that what I planned to do wasn't right; I simply said to myself, "You can't do this."

And that was that. I never looked back. And it felt really good. So good, in fact, that I was practically patting myself on the back, praising myself for doing the right thing (or not doing the wrong thing). Honestly, I almost started skipping down the street as I thought about it yesterday.

Then I asked myself: Is this really something to be self-congratulatory about? Can you really brag about being very, very close to committing a sin and deciding at the last minute not to follow through?

I was convinced that I had no reason to be pleased with myself. Instead, I should be upset with myself for even considering doing something wrong!

But in church today, when we got to the part where we ask God for forgiveness "for what I have done and what I have failed to do," I realized something: If my conscience hadn't stepped in and told me to do the right thing, I would have had that sin on my mind. I would have had to confess that I had "sinned through my own fault." Instead, I was able to thank God for giving me a conscience and the good sense to pay attention to it.

It may not have been a reason to brag, but it was definitely a moment to realize that doing what's right feels a whole lot better than feeling guilty about choosing the wrong path.
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