Right or Expedient? · 3 February 2018

There used to be a saying that said you always choose what is right over what is expedient. Now, it seems like the saying has gone the other way and everybody is choosing what is expedient while not even considering what is right.

I know that you cannot say everybody or always. At least not without some repercussions. After all, there are no absolutes. (The last sentence is not an exception, just a paradox.) But it sure seems that people are choosing to do what is expedient rather than what is right these days.

I thought of this when a person drove down the wrong way on a street to make a left turn on another street to bypass the traffic in front of us stopped at the light ahead. (He ended up behind me anyway.) I know that the driver really only drove about twenty feet or so on the wrong side of the street, but it did get me thinking. And thinking can be a dangerous thing. At least for me.

At any rate, I thought about some of the sayings we hear now that go against the spirit of choosing what is right over what is expedient. Sayings like: “Whatever it takes” or “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” or even “Just do it.” I am sure that those thoughts are not supposed to supplant considering what is right, but they seem to suggest it. And with the thought that there are no absolutes in our society, including right and wrong, maybe the sayings are doing more than suggesting we ought to do whatever we feel like doing, regardless of the cost or rightness of it.

Maybe that is the problem. People do not think there is a right and wrong anymore. There is only doing or not doing. Forget about the consequences. The traffic light says not to turn, but there is no oncoming traffic. So go ahead. Nobody is watching. Except that there is always somebody watching. At the very least, yourself. And with each little infraction, be it traffic or otherwise, a little more of your soul erodes away. The thought that there is no right or wrong gets a little more confirmation in your brain. The thought that it is all just relative is more firmly entrenched.

But that relativism and thought that there is no right or wrong go against what is real. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25) That is the truth. Not just some thought in an outdated book. (Which by the way is always the top seller. Every year. It just does not get to any lists because it would dominate the list, especially if the list makers included all the different translations of the Bible as separate entities. Ah but that is another discussion. One which we never have because you do not discuss politics, money, or Jesus in polite company.)

Ah well.

It might seem like the saying, “Do what is right rather than what is expedient,” never existed, but there are still those who choose to do what is right rather than what is expedient. At least I hope there are.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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