Lent Devotion April 17-Doing Right

Lent Devotion


April 17


Doing Right

  I saw something really rare the other day—especially considering where I saw it. In a soccer game in Turkey, a player tripped over his own feet near the goal and went down. The angle the referee had led him to believe the defender tripped him, and since it was inside the goal box, awarded the boy who tripped a penalty kick. But instead of taking the shot, the boy intentionally kicked the ball out of bounds. He didn’t think it was fair when he knew he hadn’t been tripped.  

If you’ve ever played or even watched sports, you know how rare that is. In soccer, “flopping” to draw a foul has become an art form. In basketball you see guys commit fouls and then hold their hands up as if to say, “Who me? I didn’t do anything.” Catchers in baseball are trained to “frame” pitches, meaning they move their glove on pitches that are outside the strike zone to try to fool the umpire into calling them strikes.
I can’t ever recall a player who got the benefit of a call he didn’t deserve turning to the official and saying, “No, sir, I didn’t actually tag him out, like you thought.” “I didn’t catch the ball—I juggled it and it hit the ground” “He didn’t trip me—I tripped over my own feet.” Because the culture of the sport says that you take the bad calls that go your way because there are going to be some bad calls that go the other way, and it all evens out.
  It takes a lot of inner strength to do the right thing, even when everyone around you is saying to do the opposite. When Jesus was arrested, the disciples scattered and hid. Nobody stood beside Him. Pilate tried to pass the buck and blame Jesus’ crucifixion on the crowds, but he didn’t have what it took to let Jesus go after he told the crowds that he didn’t find any fault in Hm. Barabbas sure wasn’t going to say, “No, I’m the one who deserves to die, not Him. Release Him instead.”
  Jesus, however, did what was best for us, even when it hurt Him—even when He would’ve preferred to do something else. In Luke 22:42 Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
  As you pray today, ask God for the strength to do what’s right, even when others would have you do something else.

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