A number of years ago, I was intrigued by the question of whether you can do the right thing in the wrong situation and still be blessed.   One response kept coming up:  Because God looks at our heart, he will always bless us according to what our motivation is even if we are in a wrong or less than desirable situation. It doesn’t matter how we got into the situation.  What matters is how we handled the situation and in what ways we let it affect our hearts.  Most importantly, in these situations do we turn to or turn away from God?   Even as I thought about this question, I remember feeling like I was being tested by God on whether I could choose the right thing even though the situation was one of the most uncomfortable that I’d been in.

The choice to do the right thing was easier than I thought it would be. What was the hard part was sticking to my decision.   I felt that my heart was right and seeking the right things, but my own fears kept moving me closer and closer to the point that I was about to change my mind.  What kept me focused on trying to do right were the many real-world examples I had of friends and family members who appeared to have been doing the right thing in the wrong situation but we’re still catching hell years later. 

Over the years, what I’ve learned in trying to figure out the answer to that question of being blessed in wrong situation is that we have to be open to God’s grace in addition to God’s favor.  So many of us pray for God’s favor but we have a hard time accepting God’s grace.   We have to make the choice to trust God as it says in Proverbs 3:5 to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  We also have to make the choice to not wallow in sin but quickly repent and restore fellowship with God.  One scripture that reminds us of the importance of this is Psalm 66:18 which states, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”   

In fact, there are many instances in the Bible of people being blessed even though they did wrong (Moses, Abraham, David, Rahab) because their intentions (their hearts) were also honorable even if their actions sometimes were not.   It seems like in today’s society, we might try to do the right thing but only if we have some guarantee that it’s going to work out the way we want.   Or we may somehow get away with something for a season and believe that God’s silence is also his agreement what that wrongdoing.   

However, we will rarely have peace of mind.  Proverbs 14:10 and 30 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness and no one else can share its joy.  A heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones.”   There’s not enough solos you can sing in the choir or hours you can usher to earn peace of mind.  That only comes when we have removed guilt, anger and disappointment and replaced it with godly intentions.