Can the clarity of resolve become foggy in the crisis of decision? Conflicts of interest and the clash of values have always muddied the eyes of those who would otherwise see clearly.
We know this to be true. Those who accept a bribe will discover their heart twisted toward corruption. Ecclesiastes 7:7; Proverbs 17:23 Similarly if the lure of wealth gains a foothold, it can derail faithfulness since it is not possible to serve two masters. 1 Timothy 6:10; Matthew 6:24
When Abram told Sarai, ?tell them you are my sister,? at the crossroads he chose self-preservation. Genesis 12:11-13 The cost of that shrewdness involved the weight of sin.
Ananias and Sapphira encountered an intersection when they sold some property. When they agreed to lie about the sale price of their property, presumably to gain favor and recognition as generous givers, they chose the wrong path.Acts 5:1-9 The price they paid was their lives.
King Jereboam?s decision inviting Israel to worship at Dan and Bethel involved him crumbling under the pressure to maintain his kingship by human means. 1 Kings 12:26-29 He could have chosen to trust in God and His promises. Instead his kingship sank into sinfulness.
We need to be acutely aware of the values which can tug at our heart strings so that we will recognize the crisis of decision for what it is – a challenge to our ultimate allegiance. Questions can reveal the clash of competing allegiances.
?Should I lie in order to avoid trouble??
?Should I hide what I know is true in order to get along??
?What should I do about the unethical practices I have discovered at work??
?Should we go to this sporting event instead of worship??
Such questions often boil down to trusting in God and doing what is right or capitulating to the pressure of pursuing self-advancement, acceptance by peers, greed, living for pleasure or some other value. If we are naively unaware of the crossroads of decision, we could wake up one day to ?how did I get here??
The more goals we entertain, the greater are the possibilities that we will find our service to God encountering conflict. The more important other goals might be to us, the stronger will be the temptation to make poor decisions.
Clarity of resolve involves starting with the conviction of who God is and His place in our lives. It is maintained by preventing the erection of competing allegiances in our hearts.
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