Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?” (1 Samuel 20:30)
There are times when it’s convenient and easy to do the right thing; in those moments, you’d be a fool not to do what’s right. And then there are times when it’s inconvenient and hard to do the right thing; in those moments, the foolish decision is a little bit harder to see.
In the case of Jonathan, he had a lot to lose by refusing to betray his friendship with David. At the very least, he was creating a relational barrier between himself and his father, Saul. Perhaps of greater sacrifice was the risking of his own kingship in the future.
Rather than being moved by the emotional manipulation of his father, Jonathan chose to anchor himself to what he knew was true. He knew that David had never done anything disrespectful to Saul and that David lived to please the Lord. Saul was the crazy one, not David. Yet choosing to support David would potentially cost Jonathan more than supporting his father and going against what he knew to be right.
I believe that decisions like the one Jonathan had to make are defining moments in our lives. Certainly it was a defining moment for him when he had to choose what was right over what was convenient. To be fair, neither decision would have been easy, but the decision he made cost him more personally than his other option. In that moment, though, Jonathan’s life was defined by doing what was right over what was best for him in the short term.
We all have defining moments like Jonathan’s – moments where we have to do something hard that is inconvenient in the moment because we believe that it’s the right thing. It may cost you money. It may cost you family. It may cost you all kinds of things. The result of the decision, though, is peace – being able to put your head on the pillow at night and rest knowing that you still have your integrity.
When you have to choose between doing right and wrong, choose to do what’s right. You will never regret it.
Father, I want to do what’s right. But sometimes the temptation of immediate gratification woos me away, and I find myself ready to sacrifice my peace with You for something foolish in the moment. Please give me courage to do what’s right regardless of the circumstance, and let me please You in all of my decisions.