Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Slow Fade ... of Destructive Choice

James 4:7-10, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you."

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There I was again. On my usual commute along Interstate 78 through the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, on my way to work. I must drive this road at least 4 times each day as I fulfill my responsibilities...and today will be no different. I don't often listen to the radio but I'm training myself to leave the phone untouched while I drive ... so I flicked on the radio and that is when the words grabbed my attention.

The lyrics rang out,
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid 
When you give yourself away 
People never crumble in a day..."*

People never crumble in a day... those words are such truth.

We don't like to think about it too often...but where are our choices leading us?  Andy Stanley writes in his book title, THE PRINCIPAL OF THE PATH, that direction, not intention, determines the destination. It's not our intention that provides us with what we desire, but rather the choices that we make.

As you look back over this past week and consider the topics of conversation and the shows watched and the attitudes that you allowed to flow through you ... are you climbing or fading?

The slow fade...where does it lead?  The simple answer...it leads to no peace within yourself because you successfully destroy all harmony within yourself and around you. It could be that you spend money you don't have, you're shattering trust that your spouse cherishes, or you've crushed the aspirations and dreams of your children.  Succinctly...it doesn't lead anywhere positive.

The good news is that we don't have to fade. The Bible clearly tells us that there is no temptation that God has not given us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).  The Bible is also clear in telling us that God is at work in our lives and that He will continue to work on completing us until Jesus returns.

We do not have to fade in the oblivion of compounding bad choices.  We can say NO to sin and Yes to God.

So... how does this connect and apply to parents who have children with special needs... Umm... it totally applies.

I'm sure, that as a fellow parent of a child with a disability, that you are usually emotionally, spiritually and physically tired.  All of this results in a run-down mode of operation and we are humanly more susceptible to grouchiness and lack of self-control. Therefore...any encouragement from the Bible like this passage from James 4:7-10 can provide posture and confidence to not allow evil to take root in our life.

So where are your choices leading you?

My encouragement to you this week is to write out James:4-10 (the verse at the top) and stick in your car or on the mirror in your bathroom.  Allow it to be in your line-of-sight to provide resolve and reassurance in your time of need.

PRAY:  God, thank you that you have not left us to drown in our pathetic humanness. We are so fragile and we need you to give us the motivation and resolve to not allow bad choices to become the norm. Amen.

Be Encouraged,
Jack's Dad

*Songwriter HALL, JOHN MARK; Published by Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, from Casting Crowns, The Altar and the Door

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