Tonight I sit here, frustrated… disappointed… with myself. I won’t go into a lot of specifics but I had some things unfold today where I had the opportunity to make three or four hundred dollars in minutes by making one simple, semi- questionable venture into a land of slight untruthfulness. I may or may not have had to stretch the truth to bring it all about. But I may have been able to craftfully skew things just right so that no lie would have ever even been stated. I’d go even further to say that the party in which I was dealing with, in all likelihood, would have been OK with the entire thing! But… but! But I was wrestling. All dang day I wrestled! A small, 99.9% innocently executed act and I could have padded my wallet nicely. And oh what things popped into my head to justify the act! Oh, I could use some of the money to help our neighbors who are in dire need of money to keep their house. I could buy a huge load of firewood for some other people down the street that I know are in need of it to heat their home this winter! Oh yea, and it’s Christmas time! Kristin and I want a new camera! I could put it toward some medical bills!!! The more “reasons” I came up with, the more angry at myself I became! All the while though, never making an absolute decision that would end my predicament.
So, as the sun set, I finally resolved to not even dance around with any threat of dishonesty for earthly gain. I grabbed the knob to my mind of flesh’s enticements and pulled it right clean off. After the decision was made and the issue was concluded, I was still irritated. Why in the world did I wrestle all the stinking day with this?!? I’m constantly preaching keeping ones mind on things above and our gaze upon the Father. Yet for eight-plus hours I was bounding all around inside an orb of compromise. As the cerebral dust settled and I sat and played with Noah when I got home from work, my spiritual vision was realigned and my spirit caught up with my flesh. I saw again what really matters and what is eternal. Although I was enticed to receive some seeming benefit, would it really have been? I think not, when viewed through my spiritual eyes.
But oh it doesn’t end there! As my flesh-man saw that the battle had been lost, he seemed to take a different route to unearth some twisted, carnal pleasure. “Oh well look at you! So obedient! You made the right decision! God must be soooooo proud of you! God will surely have to bless you now!” Ugh! You know what, as a son of the Most High, what else do I do? If I’m maturing in the Lord and staying close to His heart, then fruit must follow. Fruit that denies oneself and embraces the eternal. It’s not really a congratulatory event, it’s what a follower of Christ is called to do - obedience. When I chose to die to myself and live for Christ, it was what I committed myself to. The surrendered life!!
So am I glad that I made the right decision? Of course! No amount of money can replace a clear conscience or mend the hurts of disobedience to my Heavenly Father. It’s not about morality or being a good, reputable person either. Anyone can excuse anything away in order to maintain that simplicity. It’s much, much deeper than that. I don’t want to live a life of compromise – even a hint of it! So tonight, I stand up, shake it all off and forge ahead! My hearts desire is just to remain obedient, but more expeditiously. Today was another opportunity to exercise the mind of Christ that I’m learning to walk activated within me. Victorious after much deliberation…. too much. . *sigh* Boy am I glad this day is over.
Great message, Joel. You may never know the blessing that will come to you because of obedience but it will come.
Thanks Ken. :)
I'll bet if your child was born blind and dumb, or if (like mine) he was killed at the age of two, you would not believe in god. How anyone with half a brain can believe in god, I have no idea.
Anonymous: Thanks for stopping by the blog. I'm sorry about your son and all that you must have endured to experience such a loss. I cannot even imagine what that must have been like (and is still like). Personally, my belief in God is not based upon the circumstances that come about in my life. I've had plenty of instances when I could have easily thrown up my hands in disbelief and walked away. But just because horrible things happen in this corrupt world doesn't change or even sway the existence of God for me.
Did you believe at any point in your own life? Perhaps prior to your sons death or when you were young? I'd be curious to hear your thoughts a bit further.
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