“The fruit of righteousness is peace; quietness and trust forever.” Isaiah 32:17
This passage always reminds us to do the right thing. It’s not that we don’t know that we should always do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do. This passage reminds us that what we sow, we will also reap.
I don’t think we always like that thought. I think we like to think that, no matter what we sow — whether good or poor interactions with others, whether honesty or dishonesty, whether kindness or unkindness — we’ll get what we want in the end.
And this passage tells us that is simply not so. It reminds us that our behavior matters.
The way we treat others comes directly back to us in the quality of our relationships with those closest to us, with business associates or other people in our lives. The decisions we make about the way we throw the ball out into the world, so to speak, is the way it will come back. And I don’t think we always remember that.
It often seems we want it all: we want to be able to behave in any way we desire and have no ramifications for that behavior, as well as have complete control over our feelings and the feelings of others.
This does not describe a loving relationship. Rather, a relationship of dominator and dominated. And if what we seek is a relationship that brings about peace, quietness and trust, we know that our behavior directly affects whether we will dominate or be dominated, and whether that dynamic will be part of our relationship at all. What will you choose? Because the fruit of righteousness, or relationships in right order, is peace, quietness and trust, forever.
Kate Walsh Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Stillwater. She works at Christian Heart Counseling at 275 Third St. South and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-439-2059 extension 718.