Friday, November 03, 2006
Morality in Question... Part III
(This is the third post in a series of four... see earlier entries below.)
The “score” now is even and any “peace” I felt over my initial decision to do the right thing is supplanted with this tumultuous inner wrestling match between my carnal self and the part of me that wants to be righteous. I began to feel anxious and conflicted. I know I'm not following after God at this point. Instead, I am teetering on a moral precipice alongside someone else.
Consider the words of Scripture:
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7) In the New Testament, Peter describes a lion on the prowl, looking to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8)
The Bible alternately paints the picture of a beast lying in wait and a lion on the hunt as it warns us about the stealth and unrelenting ferocity of evil. Both images suggest great harm will befall those who are not vigilantly aware. And in the mortal realm, awareness is not a one-time achievement. It’s a daily battle to stay anchored to Christ amidst the harmful lures and magnets of this world.
As I sat in my car contemplating my “options,” I was overcome with a gnawing sense of internal confusion and now shame.
So I had a third thought: “What would God want me to do?”
In this appeal for divine help, the Spirit of God, Whom the Bible calls our “Counselor,” “Advocate,” and “Comforter,” ripped the reigns from my hands and took control. I was hurled like a flying shot-put right back to my first thought: write a note! Instantly, all the confusion and anxiety I was feeling amid unrighteous thoughts simply vanished. It was as if God slapped duct tape on Satan’s mouth and the inner tugs and turmoil simply ceased. It's tempting to rationalize. The scratch was just a little thing. It's not as if I committed arson or grand theft, right? But just as small droplets of rain over time can erode strong banks of land, everyday sins corrupt and corrode our relationship with God.
I prayed to God that He would forgive my “faulty heart” for entertaining any option other than the right one, and I wrote a note of apology identifying myself as the one who scratched the car.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
I was just signing my name when I noticed a man cutting across the parking lot and heading toward that Lexus. It was the owner of the car! As he was getting in, I approached his window and gestured to him that I had a note. He rolled down the window and what happened next, well, was rather surprising, to say the least…
Team "Right": 2
Team "Wrong": 1
Next Up: Then Guess What Happened?
(Photo by mikekiazyk. See flickr.com for restrictions.)