January 16, 2021
January 18, 2021


17th JANUARY 2021

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” – James 4:17

Everyone has a responsibility towards another to extend a helping hand or to lift up the other in times of distress. We ought to be our brother’s keeper and to be there for each other in times of trouble. In this wise, therefore, the story of the good Samaritan becomes relevant as a nurturing balm for our spiritual growth. As Christians however, your responsibility towards your neighbour becomes even greater for the reason that you have chosen to become a servant of the Lord. Unfortunately, knowing what these responsibilities are, has always been a difficult process. For instance, if each person, or a believer for that matter, go out fully to restore peace in place of war, then our world will be a peaceful and harmonious environment. Therefore, to fix what is not right, and to make it become right is the greatest responsibility of all humans. Nevertheless, there are things we must do always; things that please and glorify God and bring our fellowmen into the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must strive at all times to glorify God in the things that we do. Some people spend a whole day complaining about what is wrong in their society, without offering any solution whatsoever to the numerous problems recounted by them!  That is not right. What makes the world to go round is our positive contribution to our society and families in times of need. Therefore, rather than curse the darkness, why not simply light a candle!

Today’s word says that whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits a sin. That means to say that we are judged according to our understanding of what is right or wrong at any given time. But what are the guiding principles of right and wrong? How do we know if we are on the right paths at any given time? It is true that so many people do not have a sense of good judgment. Nevertheless, you have a good number of others who clearly understand the dividing line between right and wrong, but yet choose to act immoral or break the commandments of God. For instance, rather than take responsibility at any given time, or make efforts to alleviate pain and trauma, some would pretentiously stand by and watch things go wrong. But we can know if what we are doing is right or wrong when our action is serving the greatest needs of others and not to gratify our own flesh (Galatians 5:16) Further to that, the scripture says in James 2:8, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing right” The Royal law is to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbours as well. Therefore, the guiding principle at all times is whether your action gives glory to God, as well as serving a good purpose in the lives of the generality of the people, not just to gratify your ego and flesh!

The next question that may probably border you could be, why do you have to be good to others anyway? The answer to that is simple; You have to be good to others for the sake of God’s love, and for your own good! Helping to release your neighbour from distress is to set yourself free from future distress! Spiritually, there is no basic difference between what you do to others and what you do to yourself! Both are the same! Whatever you do to others, that you have done to God, and to yourself, for you reap basically what you have done to others! Although we may hate sin and want to do the right thing, we are often cut short because of our human weaknesses or imperfection. We all genuinely struggle with sin, but God is faithful to forgive us. We must therefore continue to make war with sin as we focus on doing what is right (Romans 7:19)


Father in the name of Jesus Christ, I ask that you melt my heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Grant me the courage to fix the problems of others. That by so doing, I may truly become your saint for good works. Thank you, father, AMEN.

FURTHER READING: Matthew 5:42; 1 Corinthians 10:31

Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi
Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi
Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi was born in Nigeria to Patrick Abuda Obeakemhe and Juliana Fatimatu Obeakemhe, both from Ogbona Town. With a master’s degree in law, she was called to the bar at the age of twenty-two, and she is currently the principle partner of the law firm Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi & Associates. She is also the founder of two philanthropic organizations: the Living Waters Mission and the Rose Croix Foundation. In addition to law, Lawrence-Dokpesi was drawn to spiritual pursuits at an early age, having begun studying philosophy, theology, chaplaincy, and spirit therapy by the age of eighteen. Inspired by her spiritual calling, she has produced ten intensively researched manuscripts on spiritual matters. Although Understanding the Spiritual was the last to be written, it is the first to be published. Lawrence-Dokpesi is a mother and a wife living in the city of Abuja, Nigeria.

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