It is said by people in think tanks with over-inflated egos and a disturbing penchant for tweed that the East will come to rule the West, given enough of a time horizon. The reason for this conclusion is that while the West is myopic in its future outlook, planning no more than a handful of years ahead, the East has a hundred-year trajectory of where it wants to be, then slowly and diligently works its way toward it. I can find no fault in the reasoning except for one thing. They did not factor in the unpredictability of generational variation when it comes to being willing to toe the line, shut up, do what they’re told, and work themselves to the bone.
It takes a mighty heavy fist to control a nation multi-generationally, and one misstep, one slight decrease in pressure, and you have yourself an uprising that will upturn the best-laid plans and permanently do away with those attempting to carry them out.
We don’t like to wait for anything, ever. If the kid working the register at the drive-through asks you to pull ahead because they need to deep fry the fake chicken for your sandwich, even if all told it would take less than five minutes, we get frisky and feel put out. I’m sure they’d be willing to give it to you frozen, with the already spray-painted grill marks, but then you might crack a tooth.
We want the crown of life without enduring temptation or being approved, and that can only happen in the fantasy world American televangelists have invented for their followers. In the real world, there is a progression wherein one thing begets another, and none of the steps can be skipped or bypassed. You can’t receive the crown of life without being approved, you can’t be approved without enduring temptation, and you can’t endure temptation unless you’re striving to live according to the way of righteousness.
The devil has no reason to tempt those who are already his. He is not trying to draw them away from the light because they are already in the darkness. He is not trying to draw them away from the truth because they are already living the lie. It’s those whose eyes have been opened, whose hearts have been pierced, and whose will has been supplanted with God’s will that the enemy wars against and attempts to entice from the narrow path. What’s worse is that temptation likes to leave the impression that it’s God doing the tempting.
More often than not, you get a better sense of a situation by looking at it in hindsight. When you’re in the midst of it, when you’re just trying to keep your head above water and are focused on your next breath and nothing else, it’s hard to piece together the intricacies of the tug and pull of temptation amid a trial and how they differ.
I can see the exact moment when, amid a trial, I was offered a means of shortening it, bypassing it, or nullifying it, but by doing so, I would have to betray my principles or do something I knew was against God’s will and purpose for my life. All it would have taken was just a bit of drawing outside the lines, not even outright deception but a slight omission, and I’d be home free, without so much as a bruise to show for my experience.
You must purpose in your heart to remain faithful before those moments arise because it is that predetermination in your heart that you will stand or fall with your principles and morals intact that will make the choice easy. If you are situationally principled or have situational morality, every time a temptation is offered up for you to bypass the trial you are in, you will take it and justify it to yourself, not realizing what you missed out on in the long run.
Faithfulness is faithfulness, whether in the little things or the big ones, but you’re never going to be faithful in the big things if you aren’t faithful in the little ones. If you’re unwilling to lose a friendship, an opportunity, a promotion, or a job for the sake of Christ, how will you be willing to lay down your life if called to do so?
Braggadocio is not a superpower. People who talk much and do very little are not to be mimicked, nor are they something to aspire to. Likewise, people who beat their chest telling everyone they can how brave they are usually aren’t, and their cowardice is on full display at the worst possible moment.
Sure, the Bible says not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, but then how would we get all the likes for giving a homeless guy a half-used bottle of mouthwash? I run a ministry, and we have to let people know what we do with their money, but for every picture we put in the newsletter, there are a hundred kindnesses you never hear about. When all the Instagram saints do is roll down their window and give someone a half-eaten hot dog, then spend a week talking about it, it’s just irksome.
I’ve been told I don’t know how to market myself, but no one’s bothered to ask if I want to. I’m not dense. I’m sure I could figure it out. I’d even hand out whole hot dogs if it came to it, but to what end? What I do as unto God is as unto God, and He knows everything, down to the glass of water you gave someone on a hot day. It’s not my job to keep a record or tell others how virtuous and noble a human being I am. My job is to do the work. God keeps track of the hours.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 21 November 2023 | 12:29 pm
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