As good and ethical as doing the right thing seems it does not usually stand-alone. That is to say that doing the right thing cannot and must not be taken out of context. An action may be right per se, but put several factors into consideration and it becomes plain wrong. Consider the following:
“Doing the right thing at the wrong time” is quite a widespread saying. There’s no such thing, however, as doing the right things at wrong times. A good act done out of timing is an absolutely wrong deed.
See yourself as a Red Cross member. A bomb blast takes place at your school with many dead and a lot more injured. It is true that at that point in time, many are hungry. But it would be sheer foolishness to run around trying to feed the poor instead of helping the medical practitioners with the injured; and yet, feeding the poor is an extremely good act, even by Bible standards.
In the same vein, abandoning your classes for a 3-day fellowship crusade is sheer folly (and all the Campus Fellowship Mamas and Papas say whaaat?!).
When dealing with people and relationships, the right thing is equally relative, for instance, as the devil thinks you’re the bad guy. When attempting to do the right thing as regards to people, a lot of factors should be put in perspective because people’s relationships with others as well as their reactions can sometimes influence doing the right thing.
For instance, telling the truth is always a good thing. But when a woman gives birth to a baby and loses it shortly after birth, it is out of place to break the news to her at that particular time. People of higher reasoning usually wait for time to pass so she can effectively deal with the trauma.
It goes without saying that in the multitude of words, an offence is inevitable. Also, lesser words could help us not to hurt others and not hurting people is a good thing. In fact, it is an admirable act. But then most of us have been in that sad place where a loved one is making a costly mistake and we know it. So we get stuck between speaking up or not.
Imagine that your friend is in a blissful relationship and envisions her future with this young man that you happened to catch in the arms of another woman just last night. “If I tell her, she’ll get hurt. She loves him so much,” we tend to say. Now, being a man of few words might be a good thing in the eyes of the world, but in this scenario, I think we can all come to the agreement that silence creates more hurt in the end.
Conclusively, even the Bible acknowledges that “there is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof is destruction.” In the same vein, there are things that seem right in the eyes of the world (sometimes in the eye of the church too) and that is indeed ethically and morally right, but take them out of context and they become wrong deeds. To all things, there is a season.
So let’s desire and acquire the wisdom to understand the principles, rightfully divide the word, fight in wartime, seek peace in peacetime, plant in planting season and harvest in harvesting season.
Then, there will be no hunger in paradise.