Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 12th May 2022: Knowing and doing

Jesus Belief Action John 13

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 13

Jesus washes the disciples feet

After Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he put on his robe, and returned to the table. He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.’

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


From our earliest childhood most of us are taught right from wrong. So, what is the difference between morals and ethics?

Morals usually means the principles that guide us, whereas Ethics refers to a set of rules that tell us how to behave. They sound the same, but they're not. Morals are the basics for ethics, and are usually created by our culture, the way we're brought up, or our belief system. Ethics are much more practical, but they might not be moral! For instance, groups like Medical Associations and Trades Unions have ethical codes. But it would be unethical for a lawyer to stand up in court and declare his client to be guilty, even if he knew it to be so. He is expected to offer reasons why his client is innocent. Not all ethics are moral!

In our passage from John's Gospel we see Jesus teaching his disciples after he, the Son of God, has washed their feet. He has set an example for his disciples. The principle of loving God and loving one another (morals) is shown in our lives by the rule of caring for others (ethics). It's not enough to know the difference between morals and ethics in our head though, for Jesus said we should act! When we apply this ethical rule to others then we are truly blessed.


Lord Jesus Christ,
help us to apply our principles
to our daily life;
to say we love You
and other people
and to show that in our life.
May we be 'doers of the word'
not just 'believers of the word'.

Follow Up Thoughts

For those who haven't got a headache from these Thoughts, you might like to look at this article:

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