28 July, 2009

Stop Making Excuses and Walk Away

In dealing with people as a pastor, one of the most frustrating things I deal with is people making excuses for their behavior, actions and/or lifestyle rather than taking ownership and contending with those issues. A friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about this very issue and he made the comment that it is what he termed "the Vegas Syndrome." I asked him what he meant and he explained that the slogan for Vegas is, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." He went on to explain that there are many who call themselves Christians who think they can do what ever they want and no one will ever find out. I have to agree, my friend is right. So many are guilty of thinking we can hide our sin and we have made excuses so long that they themselves believe the lies that they have spun to cover up a sinful heart. But they have forgotten that God is everywhere and even if no earthly person ever discovers their secrets, God knows. The problem, as I see it is that we flirt with things that we secretly lust after and before long, they allure sucks us in.

Using that Las Vegas analogy, think about walking the streets of Vegas, or some other city. For those of us who are not accustomed to all the excitement, sites and sounds, when we are put into that situation the hustle and bustle draws our attention and wows us. If we hang around that long enough, and as the sun sets and the night life begins, we can find ourselves not only looking on, but joining in on the action around us. That is how lust and temptation works. At first we are stunned, maybe taken off guard, or even in awe of what we see. But the more we look on that thing that is tempting us, we begin to justify within ourselves that "just once" won't hurt. And before we know it, we are hooked by the snare. I've seldom met a man or woman who just got up one day and decided they were going to go out and find someone to have an affair with. No, it began by looking at someone who was tempting and they began to let their mind roam into areas that it should not go, and before they knew it, they were acting out their thoughts. Again, this is how lust works.

God gave us the way to handle this in His Word with one simple command when it comes to avoiding lust: walk away.
When you feel the pull of lust in your life, don't give yourself excuses that compromise your integrity. Walk away from the lies of lust. Walk away from any opportunities to meet with that attractive person alone. Walk away from the opportunity to stay late at work with a co-worker of the opposite sex. Walk away from that which is tempting you to steal, to lie or what ever area of temptation you may be facing.

We tend to think of temptations only in the arena of sexual conduct, but anything that pulls at you to violate your love covenant with God is lust and must be contended with and must be walked away from. And to do this, we must also walk away from the excuses we come up with. Making excuses will only lead to destruction. We must make the right choice, the choice to flee temptation, that which is causing us to lust. Rather than make excuses, we need to learn to bring our temptations before the Lord. As we surrender our temptations to God and allow him to work in your life He will give you the power to walk away.

1 comment:

Gayle said...

This is absolutely true, Pastor D. People flirt all the time with what they know is wrong. I see so many people without any personal boundaries. They try to become who they are around, to the best of their ability. In a sense they 'reflect' their surroundings much like a chamilion. They are too busy trying to be liked by everyone, so saying "NO" is not easy for them, because they have not made a chioce to have 'ideals' or 'standards' in many areas of their lives, as this would cause conflicts which they believe cannot afford! They do not want to burn bridges! They are too dependant.

This is why... people need the Word of God, to impact their heart, and make that inner change, that heart change that will cause them to become convicted of their choices, and protective of the Name of the Lord (!!!) and of His temple that He dwells in WITH US.

(and here's another common thread of sin. Trying to BE God to another) Some of us get caught up by our own compassion, and share in the anguish of people who are bearing the penalty of their mistakes/sins, and inadvertantly become a crutch (co-dependant) for them and we both get weakened in that process. They ache and bemoan how the devil lured them and then attacked them and they often get stuck in that place of realization, because they then.... get addicted to the attention they get from those who want to HELP them. They become stuck in an 'eddy' of circular behavior, and so do the Co-dependants who want to believe these people can change.

My bottom line is, that we cannot become entangled with another persons sin consequences in a co-burden bearing way. It has to be a choice of the individual to recover from sin consequences, they have to get their strength and motivation from God. We are not God, we just reflect Him, and point to Him and His Word. ...and PRAY.

No excuses, just Truth will set one free.