7 Steps Of Action When Asked To Do Something You Think is Wrong Part II
As we said in the first lesson, it is easy for us to think we are following Christ and are even suffering for Him when we disobey commands that violate His Word. But unless we have carefully applied each of the following actions, we are only deceiving ourselves. Again, from the last lesson we mentioned checking our attitudes. This week we will discuss number two:
2. Clear our Conscience:
⦁ Correct those attitudes which have offended:
A simple definition for the word offence in this lesson is that a person has have hurt feelings, that they are sad, angry, sorrowful, grieved, annoyed, disappointed, or upset, over a wrong attitude another had. The list of wrong attitudes I listed are these:
An Independent spirit
A condemning spirit
An ungrateful spirit
A lazy spirit
A bitter spirit
An impure spirit
(Again please read or re-read lesson 16 Part I)
⦁ Fulfill the wishes and unfinished directions of those in authority.
⦁ Acknowledge to the person that we were wrong and ask forgiveness.
If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes (Matthew 5:23-25) (betimes: before the usual or expected time; early.)
In other words. don't wait to say I was wrong when you got caught or when you are confronted. That is considered the "expected time". the "usual", the normal time.
⦁ Make any restitution
The Old Testament Law is full of examples of the principle of making restitution. The story of Zacheus in the New Testament is also a wonderful example of restitution.
But Zacheus standing, said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of any thing, I restore him fourfold. Jesus said to him: This day is salvation come to this house....(Luke 19:8)
⦁ Learn "deference"- limiting your wants, likes, desires and tastes to avoid offending another's taste.
Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood, with honour preventing one another.(Romans 12:10)
"Preventing" is an old English word that literally means "to go ahead". In today's English you could use the words "to anticipate" or thinking ahead of your actions asking if what I would do offended them.
Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3)
3. Discerning Basic Intentions:
⦁ Ask them what there goals and wishes are.
Basically we are repeating the principle that comes out of Romans 12:10 getting to know how they think. There tastes, there desires, there goals and wishes so that you can anticipate what they want.
⦁ Find out what there frame of reference is regarding the command.
What do we mean by a frame of reference? A frame of reference is, "a structure of concepts, values, customs, views, etc., by means of which an individual or group perceives or evaluates data, communicates ideas, and regulates behavior." http://www.dictionary.com/browse/frame-of-reference
So basically we are saying that everyone has a worldview that they base there goals and wishes on.
A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. "[It's] any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world and man's relations to God and the world," says David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times.
For example, a 2-year-old believes he's the center of his world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian-worldview/whats-a-christian-worldview/whats-a-worldview-anyway
Someone with a Catholic worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. http://vaticaninexile.com/catechism_1_on_the_end_of_man.php
So every thing we do is in light to what God and His Church desires of us.
Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps.(Proverbs 3:5-6).
⦁ Ask them to point out any of your blindspots.
Blindspots: An area or subject about which one is uninformed, prejudiced, or unappreciative: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/blind--spot
Ask them to point them out to you. Pointing them out is not being judgmental it is done to be a help to you to understand and to fulfill fully what they are asking of you.
Appolo therefore began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Whom when Priscilla and Aquila had heard, they took him to them, and expounded to him the way of the Lord more diligently. (Acts 18:26)
Appolo is a good example of someone who had a blind spot. (Read Chapter Acts 18: 24-28.) He meant well. But he had an area that he was "uniformed" about concerning the way of the Lord. Priscilla and Aquila, a husband and wife team, pulled him aside and "explained the way of the Lord more diligently" to him.
⦁ Discern bigger goals which God may have designed to be accomplished through the situation.
God has a bigger picture in mind then just what you are seeing in front of you. Is he trying to teach you something that will help you to be a better Catholic? Is he wanting to show the one in authority an example of what a true Catholic is suppose to be like through the way you react?
It can go so much farther. Maybe a Catholic wife is at home asking God to change her husband and God is using you as a light to convict his heart at work. Maybe God has plans in the future for you and is using this situation to prepare you for what ever he has for you. What god is doing in one small situation is endless. We can not see what he sees.
Fulton Sheen was not a Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen all his life. He became who was, by how he reacted to the little things that God allowed in his life.
It was Francis of Assisi reactions to the little things in his life that made him Saint Francis of Assisi.
Next week we will continue at step four.