Major Ian Thomas: When Doing Right is Wrong


(Note: This is from The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Me)

So long as Christians are busy doing for God what is best in their own eyes, they will never enter into His rest and the true inheritance that is theirs to enjoy now. They will only be sweating it out, and end up weary, discouraged, depressed. They will likely become deeply cynical.

They will finally want to quit, and quit they must. They must quit depending on self-effort, and instead recognize the Truth: ‘I cannot – God never said I could; but God can, and always said He would.’

True repentance says, ‘I cannot,’ and true faith adds, ‘But God, You can!’ Then you can reign in life as you let God be God, and you allow Him to show you that He is big enough for the job.

Reflect again on this truth: Righteousness is doing right in God’s eyes, and God alone is the author of righteousness. For any activity of yours or mine to produce righteousness, God Himself must be the source of it. Are you allowing Him to do this in your life?

Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.


  1. UaMV

    Thanks, Ron. Very fitting on this Maundy Thursday, as we reflect on the mandate to love as Jesus loved. His love and His service was ushered forth in the will of the Father. And such should be our love, our service. Reading this brings me back to a passage i recently read in Compassion by Henri Nouwen and others. Certainly, there are many passages i could cite that dance about these same thoughts, but this one comes to the forefront …

    “Here we are touching on the profound spiritual truth that service is an expression of the search for God and not just of the desire to bring about individual or social change. This is open to all sorts of misunderstanding, but its truth is confirmed in the lives of those for whom service is a constant and uninterrupted concern. As long as the help we offer to others is motivated primarily by the changes we may accomplish, our service cannot last long. When results do not appear, when success is absent, when we are no longer liked or praised for what we do, we lose the strength and motivation to continue. When we see nothing but sad, poor, sick, or miserable people who, even after our many attempts to offer help, remain sad, poor, sick, and miserable, then the only reasonable response is to move away in order to prevent ourselves from becoming cynical or depressed. Radical servanthood challenges us, while attempting persistently to overcome poverty, hunger, illness, and any other form of human misery, to reveal the gentle presence of our compassionate God in the midst of our broken world.”

    i can attest to the truths held in these excerpts. In my travels and service, i have been both the one to face cynicism and depression and the one who has rested well in the strength of the joy of the Lord.

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