Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. – Proverbs 14:11-12.

The chase began when Sheriff’s Deputy John Hedrick of Winfield, West Virginia spotted a speeding vehicle. His radar showed it was traveling 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. Hedrick proceeded to try to stop the speeder as he headed toward the county buildings where the sheriff’s office was located. The vehicle came to a screeching halt outside the sheriff’s office and a man jumped out and began running toward the court facility. Hedrick was able to catch him – but he let him go temporarily. Hedrick explains, “He was late for a court hearing.” Daniel Clark who Hedrick had been chasing was to be arraigned on the charge of wanton endangerment. Deputy Sheriff Hedrick tells how it all ended, “I thought it was kind of a weird situation, but it kind of worked out all right. He got to court, then he got the ticket.” After his arraignment, Clark received tickets for speeding and driving with a suspended license.

We can sympathize to some extent with Clark in that he was trying to do the right thing about not missing his court date. However, he surely went about it in the wrong way! Clark’s situation is not the classic way that many try to make a wrong right with another wrong but it is close. If woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock that is a wrong that many try to right with another wrong by having an abortion. If a person is having financial problems because of gambling debts some have tried to right this wrong by embezzlement at work or by other illegal means of obtaining money. In an extreme case, that I am personally aware of a woman was having an affair and her husband was upset with her, which is of course to be expected. She hired someone to rough up her husband to make him back off and leave her alone. The result was that one of the men died from knife wounds received in the fight.

In all of these instances and you can probably think of others; a second wrong does not make a right. Actually, the second wrong only succeeds in making things worse. It is human nature to want to avoid the unpleasant consequences of our actions. At the time, it may seem to be the right thing to do. However, doing something wrong to cover up or try to make right another wrong only leads to death. Death is not necessarily physical death or spiritual death although it can lead to that if the downward spiral of sin and deception is not halted. With each sin, each wrongful thing that we do there is more deadness that comes into our lives and into the lives of those around us. The only way to end the progression downward is to do what? Stop the wrongful actions.

To turn these bad situations around you must first of all confess your failures to your Lord (1 John 1:9). Then you must deal with the human side of the mess. You may think that it is the end of the world for you when there will be consequences, which could include prison or disappointing those who have trusted and respected you. To be honest and upfront with everyone is the first step to getting your life back. I know people who have committed suicide rather than face such things. You don’t have to do that because if you turn it over to God, no matter how bad it is – He will carry you through it and give you peace in the midst of the storm (Philippians 4:6-7). You must place your trust no longer in yourself or human plans or what you think might cover it over. Instead your trust must be placed in God who is the One who can bring good out of the bad (Romans 8:28).

(The mistake of compounding situations through making another mistake.)

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