Is our internal moral compass being set by the arbitrary rules of the world, or is it defined by God?
How do you decipher right from wrong? Do you follow the popularly accepted truths of the world or the timeless truths? Is the Bible our primary source of information and guidance followed by the Hermeneutical tradition that our church has preserved?
It becomes dangerous when we start turning a blind eye to the laws of God, and justifying sin. St. Paul warns us, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (Ephesians 4:17-19)
We must make it a conscious effort to always put God before us, and the ways of the world behind us.
We are either trying to vigorously fight the temptation of momentary sexual pleasure as the Bible clearly calls out fornication (sex before marriage), or we give into it saying “well no one saves sex for marriage anymore”
We are either trying to do right and hold onto our integrity in school and work, or we end up cheating our way to the top and justify it by thinking “everyone else cheats, so it’s only fair that I cheat too.”
We would either never dare change the course of an unborn child’s life, or we only care for the choice of the mother, a choice that is often made as a reaction to a consequence of failing to make the right choice earlier.
We are either vigilant and strict with what we watch, or we indulge in lustful entertainment and justify it by bluntly stating, “well everyone watches porn these days, and it's not like it’s hurting anyone.”
We sin because we have decided that something is more worthy of our love than God is. When we become hyper focused on sin our desire for it begins to grow and our desire for Christ and His goodness begins to fade away. Here, sin has won.
Sin by definition is “missing the mark.” If being Christ-like is the mark, then we miss it over and over again every time we choose the deceitfully attractive and enticing forbidden fruit.
Heaven isn’t a place we go because we’re “good” (no one is good as it says in Romans 3:10), but it’s a state we live in eternally with the Father. To be in His presence forever, literally. How can I spend eternity with Him if I don’t want to spend my short earthly life with Him?
It’s time to re-evaluate our thinking and stop deceiving ourselves! It’s either we’re following the enemy, disguised as “the normal way of the world,” or we’re following God. There is no in-between.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
I’m not saying that reaching perfection is the only option and anything short of that leads to eternal damnation But that we should at least try, there should be some kind of genuine struggle to resist temptation. Some crazy tug of war between good and evil that has us sweating profusely trying to pull the rope to the good side. As long as we know what's right from wrong and we’re striving for what’s right, though we may fail over and over again, it’s in the struggle and repentance that we are made new.
I remember one incident when I was a sophomore in High School. I was about to take a math quiz, and my friend sitting next to me told me how she really had to pass this quiz and couldn't do it on her own. She promised to study and do better next time. I ended up helping her cheat, and getting caught and getting in trouble for it. Here I was knowing fully well that cheating is wrong, whether I'm on the giving or receiving end, yet I justified it because I wanted to be a "good" friend. There were school rules about cheating as well as Biblical ones that I chose to ignore, and it didn't end up well for either of us.
It’s in the act of giving in, and accepting the wrong as the norm, that invites danger to creep in and change the trajectory of our final destination.
Sometimes we’ve gotten too far away from God, that we’ve forgotten his commands that are so clearly spelled out in the scriptures, and we’ve replaced them with “I think God___” and we fill in the blank with a made up justification that might ease our guilt. Or even worse, we might have gotten too far away from Him that we’ve forgotten that He’s willing to take us at any condition. There is no sin too great, or mistake too terrible that God won’t forgive. There’s no road that we’ve travelled down too far that He is not waiting at the end of it for us to return. The same way the father waited for the prodigal son to return, God is also waiting for us to realize the ways of the world we’ve chosen aren’t meant for us.
Let us strive for loving God more than we love sin, always reaching for the right thing, and turning back every time we fail.