February 24

Text: Matthew 7:13, 14

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”  (NASB)

Doing what is good is never simple!  Doing what is evil is simple!  Call it peer pressure or following bad examples, but people prefer to experience instant gratification rather than make long term commitments.  We call quick appeals to physical pleasures “fun,” but we consider an examination of long term results and consequences as “boring.”

It is amazing to encounter people who have never realized that there is an actual connection between behavior and consequences.  Too often when a person confides what a woeful disaster life has become, there seems to be little to no awareness of how previous behavior contributed to present woes.  What was “fun” behavior at the moment was anything but “fun” later.

Using life well commonly does not involve allowing the physically appealing to determine the way we live.  Too often, pleasuring physical senses deceives and betrays us.  Long term commitments and being consistent in a commitment in difficult moments are not, at that moment, gratifying.

However, joy filled golden anniversaries, true appreciation extending beyond retirement, the peace of an enduring self respect, and a history of a productivity that blesses others are not the result of instant gratification that indulges physical desires.  Wasting life on the meaningless or using life for the enduring commonly is determined by this: the choice between allowing indulgence to determine how we live or allowing purpose to determine how we live.

The righteous person has a purpose in life, and the purpose is not indulging self.  The pursuit of life’s fullness is worth walking the difficult road.

Suggestion for reflection: Consider your purpose in life.  (Read James 4:13-16.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell