Friday, November 23, 2012


This morning, the fog blanketing the roadways was thinker than normal for a late November day. My ride to work was interrupted several times by the sudden appearance of taillights ahead of me, poking through the pre-dawn haze. Or an oblivious, waddling raccoon trying to escape into the relative comfort of the darkness. The inability for us to see far enough into the distance makes travel more "reactive" than "planned." Often, our spiritual journeys can be the same way.

It doesn't take much of an effort to stray of the righteousness path these days. The Internet, television and movies all contribute to the downward slide of our society as a whole in this post-modern world. But really, the problem doesn't lie with the media so much as it exists within each of us. These diversions that tempt us each day are only provided as options, a veritable smorgasbord of sin to chose from. WE are the ones who make a choice. WE are the ones who choose.

We make choices every day. Some of them are good choices. Some seem so right at the time but, in the end, when things take a turn for the worse, the goodness or badness of our choices become painfully obvious. I have a theory about choices. I believe that the number of bad choices we make is inversely proportional to the amount time we spend in God's Word.

When I read the Bible I find myself wanting to be like Jesus. He was always helping others, talking to people about their faith, showing compassion for those who were widowed or orphaned. It didn't matter to Jesus what sins people had committed in the past. He wanted to help them by offering forgiveness of their sins. He healed the leper and gave sight to the blind.

As I read those stories, sin is far from my mind. I am all about compassion. I am all about helping others. But as soon as I get out there in the world, my Bible left at home on the shelf, I forget all of that "Jesus stuff" and return to the all-about-me things that always seem to get me into trouble in the first place.

I think our lives are very much like the old saying, "You are what you eat." If I spend my time in front of a television watching soap operas or in a movie house watching horror flicks, my mind, my thoughts, are going to develop certain tendencies or desires. If I fill my time reading the Bible or spend it listening to Christian music or volunteering at the local food pantry, my mind will become filled with heavenly things, not things of this world.

So, if we are to become more like Christ and live as examples to others (Ephesians 5:1-2) how can we best do that? By spending time playing Black Ops? By watching Dancing With the Cardassians, or whatever it's called? Or do we become more like Christ by trying to live as HE did? Feeding the poor, showing compassion to those in our lives who are hurting?

When our time comes to die and we find ourselves standing in front of Jesus one day, how will we answer when He asks us how we spent our time? As the Christmas season approaches we should all look at our choices. Are they God-honoring? Or are they self-focused? Will our decisions lead us off the straight and narrow path? Or will they follow the example that has been set before us. Whatever we choose, we WILL be held accountable. We should seek God first in all that we decide. If we would just do that, place God first in our lives, our choices would be SO much better than they are now. :)

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephasians 4:32

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