How much do you love righteousness and truth? The test comes when these traits stand at variance with a close relative or friend. Early in the morning on September 27, 2012, a woman called her neighbor, Jeffrey, about an attempted burglary at her home. Jeffrey grabbed a gun and went outside to investigate. He saw someone wearing a black ski mask and black clothing. When he confronted the suspect, the person approached him with a shiny weapon in his hand. Jeffrey fired his gun, and the masked person fell to the ground. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

This story of bravery soon turned to tragedy, for Jeffrey discovered the masked burglary suspect was his 15-year-old son. Did the father make the right decision? Should he have waited until he knew who the suspect was before he fired his gun? The fact is, Jeffrey did what he believed was right under the circumstances. What would you have done?

When family is involved, often the distinct lines of righteousness and sin are blurred. We tend to make certain concessions because we don’t want to create conflict in the family. Such compromise loves “peace” more than truth — and this peace is false and short-lived. God wants us to see reality instead of blinding ourselves to the truth on account of our relations. He has clearly defined the lines of truth in His Word. Sin will always be sin, regardless of who crosses the line.

I hope you will never allow your love for a friend or relative to trounce your love for truth and righteousness. Whether in a private matter involving a friend’s television or Internet browsing habits or in a matter as public as the person your relative decides to date and marry, demonstrate your love for them by maintaining an unwavering commitment to truth and righteousness. Take off the blinders and stand for what you know is right today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.