Sometimes It’s Hard To Do The Right Thing

Gwen SmithBlog, Christian Living, Confession, Forgiveness, Holiness, Humility 21 Comments

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Case in point…

My husband asked if I could run to pick up his dry cleaning while he was on a conference call for work. Sure. So, I drove across town, paid, grabbed what they gave me, and then headed home.

“Are my suit pants cleaned too?” Brad asked when I brought the dry cleaning in the house.

“I’m sure they are, honey. I remember seeing them in the bag when I dropped them off.”

I checked the items I’d brought home. No suit pants.

“There are only shirts here, Brad, but I do remember there being a dark pair of pants in there last week when you gave me the bag!”

“I definitely had pants in there,” he replied. “Can you please call the dry cleaners and find out where they are?”


“Hello, mister dry cleaner man. When I dropped my husband’s clothes off last Wednesday there was a pair of suit pants in the bag. I just picked up his laundry a little bit ago and the pants are not with his order. Can you please check on those?”

“Mrs. Smith, our records show that we took in 18 shirts, but no pants. I’m sorry.” He said matter-of-factly.

“Sir,” I responded as my pulse began to rise, “My husband and I both remember there being a pair of his suit pants in the bag when I dropped it off on Wednesday. There must be a mistake and we need to figure this out. Are there any pants around your store that are unaccounted for? The missing suit pants are navy with a thin blue pinstripe.”

“Ma’am,” he began with an abrasive, defensive edge, “we don’t have pants just ‘lying around.’ We only took in 18 shirts. Beyond that, I don’t know what to tell you. People think they drop things off all the time, but we very rarely ever lose anything.”


I was more than agitated at this point. “Well, sir, what I know is this: my husband and I both remember his suit pants being in the bag that I dropped off to you last Wednesday. He can’t wear a suit without pants. This is pretty important. Can you please take my number and call us if and when you find them?”

“Yep. I have your number.” Then he finished with this smug gem, “I don’t expect them to show up, but will call you if they do.”

“Great. Thanks.” Click.

I was in a tizzy. Brad and I began to discuss the fact that we both knew his pants were in the bag… and then a thought came to my mind … which took me to the garage. And there, on the floor behind my driver’s seat were his navy, pinstriped suit pants. Still dirty and blending in with the dark floor carpet of my car. Ugh! I walked back in the house and updated Brad.

“Do you think you should call and let the dry cleaner know that you found them?” He asked.

Inside I knew I should, but didn’t want to.

“No. I don’t want to. I don’t like him.” I replied childishly.

Almost instantly the Word of God convicted me. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17)

Doggone it. I have to call him back.

I reluctantly dialed the number again.

“Hello! Dry cleaning company, how can I help you?”

“Hi. We talked a few minutes ago about my husband’s suit pants, and I am calling back to let you know that I found them in the back floor of my car. They must’ve fallen out of the bag. I’m sorry.”

His voice softened. “Well, thanks for calling back. Most people wouldn’t do that. I appreciate it. Have a good day.”

My brow was still furrowed when I hung up. No halo hovered above my head and my grumpy ‘tude still had a grip on me. Taking that step of obedience meant swallowing my pride and I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to do it. But I know it was required in response to my love for Christ

Why is it sometimes hard for me to do the right thing?

Why is it hard to WANT to do the right thing sometimes?

I ponder the questions, yet know the answer: because on my own, I’m stubborn and self-seeking. Thankfully, by grace God’s Spirit works within to lead, correct, and guide.

Obedience is a constant battle: my will versus God’s will. It’s a battle that can only be won by surrendering. Jesus said if we love Him, we will obey Him. (John 14:15, 21,23) Even when and if we don’t want to.

Where does this find you today? Is there anything that you know you should do, but haven’t done?

Dear Lord,
Thank you for loving me even when I’m less than lovable. Please lead me in Your ways, refine my stubborn heart, and help me do the good You call me to do.
In Jesus’s Name I pray,



Read John 14. This is a conversation Jesus had with His disciples on the night He was betrayed. Jesus made many bold statements here. Which verses stood out to you today? What is your personal takeaway or challenge? Post your response or a prayer on my blog wall where we meet to encourage and pray for each other regularly.

Love and blessings to you, friend.



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Comments 21

  1. Hey, dear You touched the right chord of my heart by sharing this….many a times I also found myself into same position but after reading your article got encouraged and I thank my Lord for the helper he gave me… cling onto to him and continue my journey with him in this fallen word. Thanx a ton…

  2. John 14 is beautiful throughout. In light of today’s share what stands out to me is that the Holy Spirit within us convicts us, guides us and helps us to do what’s right. (verses 16-17)
    God gets the glory!

  3. FOR YEARS I have found comfort, wisdom and support in these daily emails from you. Through the most difficult time in my life. I’ve resisted taking any kind of next step beyond reading.

    Today, I am letting go of my stubbornness just to say THANK YOU.

    1. Post
  4. You know the way to the place I am going.

    It’s always a challenge….we KNOW what we should be doing as Christians to get into heaven but it’s still a trial. It’s easy to sleep in on a Sunday morning, easier to skip daily devotions. It’s a challenge I keep reminding myself “it’s easy to do the wrong, lazy thing but so much harder to do the right thing.

  5. 26 – But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you

  6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

    This verse has been imprinted on my heart. He is the way and the only way to get to the Father. To know Jesus is to know the Father. Powerful.

  7. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I”

    Please help me with this. If Jesus is surely God, why does he refer to the Father as being greater than He ?

  8. Before Christmas, I had an incidence where I was not charged for two items I bought. I have been a Christian for a long time I am ashamed that the thought crossed my mind to not make this right!! I overcame that and went back into the store and paid for the items. I was ashamed that this was even a thought in my mind.

  9. Jesus is the road.
    Jesus is the Spirit of Truth within us.
    Jesus is one cool dude who walked the earth and taught people about himself and the Father. His Word is everlasting.
    Thankful for the Truth today.

  10. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    This is the verse that spoke to me. it told me to stop living for praise from others (or the story I tell myself others think about me, my capabilities, my worth). I am looking to others for my validation, to others to alleviate my fears, when I have a Father who provides all I need, am and will be.

  11. Ouch!!!!!! This hurt! I was telling my husband before thanksgiving that there was so much I wanted to get done before kids arrived.( But the stroke I had last limits some of things I can do and how long I can do them) He looked at me and just said “Honey that is Your Pride and it doesn’t please God.” Grrrr i dont want our children to think I’m slack. I I I….. I have to stop thinking about me, My and I and think about pleasing God. This one hurt my toes. It is so easy to just let the right thing pass because it isnt comfy for ME. Admitting “I” was mistaken especially when I was so sure I was correct is even harder.

  12. Gwen, your message really resonated with me. It is very difficult to swallow pride and do the right thing. I have a situation that is a little less clear cut than your example where I need to ask others for forgiveness. I know I am not being obedient as you were, but I lack courage, and I don’t know just what to say. I still feel the other party was in the wrong also and I don’t want to make things worse by getting defensive or accusatory.
    Dear Lord, I pray for the courage to do the right thing and to be obedient to you, Lord, speak healing words through me. Amen.

  13. I Pray that I remember who is in charge and who’s word and works I am to follow. The Holy Spirit remains here to guide us, let me follow the Holy Spirit in God’s name.

  14. Verses 15,21,23,27
    All these verses and one common theme
    “If you love me you will obey me “
    Why is obedience so hard for me ?
    Stubbornness, pridefulness.
    But wow! Jesus tell us that with this obedience comes peace! Isn’t that what we all want is peace?

  15. v9 – have I been with you this long and you still don’t know who I am (Linda)?
    That spoke to me because I find myself worrying about things that are actually in Gods hands. Isn’t my worrying and fear saying that I have forgotten who He is?

    1. Linda, Amen. I do the same – worry about things I have no control over rather than trusting God who knows all, to orchestrate the situation for my good.

  16. There are times when it’s hard to do the right thing, but when we’re walking in obedience he will quicken us with his words, as he did you, and we should walk in his obedience. Thanks for that word going into the new year. Prayer…Holy God quicken our spirits to hear the still voice prompting when we feel justified not doing right because it wounds our flesh.

  17. I find myself in situations like this all the time. When I find myself talking to someone and say harsh words when I get bent out of shape. I do apolize to that person. Sometimes I do Its the right thing to do even though I don’t feel like it.

  18. Thank you Gwen with your story about doing good to others. That’s true that GOD loves us to do good to our neighbors. With that in mind i jusr like to share a message of hope to everyone as we enter another new year in our lives….

    Re-writing The Story of David & Goliath

    What if David’s first throw of his sling
    missed to hit Goliath?

    Then David, as a man of great faith in GOD would have for sure thrown a second shot, a third shot, a 4th shot just to make sure he kill GOLIATH.
    -myra dela rosa✍

    Praying for A blessed bountiful New Year 2020 to all of us in JESUS’ most precious and mighty name amen.

  19. Thank you so much for your story is true indeed that GOD loves us to love our neighbors and do good.

    With this thought, I would just like to share also one idea , an idea about new hopes as we all enter into the new year 2020…and this idea goes like this….

    Re-writing The Story of David & Goliath
    What if David’s first throw of his sling
    missed to hit Goliath?

    Then David, as a man of great faith in GOD would have for sure thrown a second shot, a third shot, a 4th shot just to make sure he kill GOLIATH.
    -myra dela rosa✍

    Praying for a Happy Happy and Blessed New Year 2020 to all of us in Jesus’ most precious and mighty name, amen.

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