I was trying to be so careful and so helpful. My wife had washed the window above the sink. But it was stuck; she could not push it back up into place. It was time for the husband to the rescue! As I leaned over the sink, I placed my hands under the window. I was about ready to push up when I realized I wasn’t in the right position. My angle of leverage was poor and probably not safe for my arm muscles. So I moved a chair to the sink so I could raise myself to a higher level. The window was now below me so I bent at the knees to pull upwards with both hands under the window – certainly better, safer leverage.
As I pulled the window up – POP! POP! It was not the window. It was something in my elbow. I knew immediately it wasn’t a healthy sound. And it certainly wasn’t a pleasant feeling. It turns out I tore a tendon. I’m now rehabbing.
As I reflected on the incident I realized that doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee that everything will go well. In fact, doing the right thing may hurt. I thought of many people I know or have read about who did what is right only to experience hurt. Certainly martyrs throughout the centuries – and even today – come to mind. And I am sure you are thinking of times when it has been true for you as well. The point is, it shouldn’t be surprising. The Bible is filled with people who did the right thing – and experienced hurt. Joseph did right and was rejected, betrayed, and imprisoned. Job did right and lost everything but his wife and his life. John the Baptist did right and lost his head. Jesus did right and lost His life.
This reflection is not intended to discourage you from doing right. It’s meant to help you when the hurt hits. First, accept the hurt as part of life. View it not as unfair but as an opportunity. Character is not made in crisis; rather it is displayed in crisis. When the hurt hits, display godly character. Second, anticipate the great work God is doing, for He works in the midst of hurt and crisis to bring glory to Himself. As the apostle Paul wrote “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son…” (Romans 8:28-29 GNT) It may be that doing the right thing in the right way will hurt. The hurt is a sign you are in the process of becoming like Jesus. I, for one, with Jesus’ help, can handle that.
Note: For a fuller discussion of doing right leading to hurt, I invite you to check out my latest book on the life of Joseph: “When the Going Gets Tough…” I think you’ll find his life story instructive and inspiring.