In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. (Judges 17:6)
There’s a big difference between doing what seems right in our own eyes and actually doing what’s right. Sometimes we humans confuse the two. Here are a few examples:
- We think we deserve to be happy at all times. That might not be achievable if our spouse makes life miserable. Therefore, we do what’s right in our own eyes and kiss our marriage goodbye.
- We’re miffed with a family member’s behavior. In our eyes, it’s healthy to “get it off our chest” so we verbalize our frustrations about that person to whoever will listen.
- We make an honest but costly mistake at work. Fear tells us it’s okay to lie about what happened. After all, we need the job, and we want to protect our reputation.
Get the picture? No doubt the list could be a long one.
Being the self-centered beings we are, we can easily assume that whatever’s right in our own eyes is honestly what’s right. Trouble is, our emotions are fickle, and when we want something badly enough, we can justify nearly anything to get it. We convince ourselves that what we’re doing is okay, and advice that says otherwise falls on deaf ears.
That’s why we need God’s word as our standard. His word is truth, and it doesn’t change based on our emotions, our circumstances, or on society’s shifting standards. Following it may not always be easy. It might even make us chafe when it goes against our natural bent. But it teaches us what is truly right and it’s written with our good in mind.
As we process decisions, let’s ask ourselves, “Am I doing what’s right in my own eyes, or am I doing what’s right based on God’s word?” Then let’s choose the latter. Doing so frees us to live without regrets and assured of God’s blessings.