How Much Will This Choice Really Cost Me?
"... in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes." 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)
A few years ago I sat at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with my daughter Ashley while an officer told her the importance of good choices. Ashley was getting her learner's permit and entering the scary world of teenage drivers.
"We've had 320 teens killed this year in fatal car accidents so we want to do everything possible to keep you safe," the officer said sternly as she highlighted for Ashley all the many rules for new drivers. Then she suggested signing a contract with her parents incorporating these rules.
I've never wanted to hug a DMV officer. But, it was all I could do not to reach across the desk and throw my arms around her. For you see, my husband and I had already created a driving contract that we've made each of our teenagers sign.
I'm sure our kids have thought our contract was a bit over the top. After all, none of their friends have had to sign such a document with their parents. So, it was good to hear another adult speak truth into the life of my child.
And what I loved most about the officer's sermonette on safe driving was her emphasis on the cost of wrong choices.
How I wish we could all see the cost of our choices as clearly as a price tag on items in a store. If I know how much something is going to cost me, I make much wiser choices. But we have an enemy who schemes against us to keep the cost of dumb decisions concealed until it's too late.
Satan wants to defeat, discourage and destroy our families. His attacks are not just willy-nilly attempts to trip us up or knock us down. He wants to take us out.
That's why, as parents, we've got to boldly fight for our families. We must get intentional with teaching our kids to think through their choices. And we must get intentional about modeling good choices as well.
Do you know why Satan's tactics are called schemes in 2 Corinthians 2:11? A scheme is a plan, design or program of action. Satan's schemes are well-crafted plans specifically targeted to do three things:
- Increase your desire for something outside the will of God.
- Make you think giving in to a weakness is no big deal.
- Minimize your ability to think through the consequences of falling to this temptation.
Satan is a master of keeping that cost hidden until it's too late.
Sweet sisters, this is something worth thinking about. And it is something worth talking about with our kids. Consider age-appropriate examples of how costly wrong choices can be. Be real, raw and bold as you walk them through different scenarios of temptations they might face.
That DMV officer was certainly bold in her explanation of the cost when a teen driver gets distracted by their iPod, cell phone or friends acting silly. Hearing her explain to my daughter how costly others' poor choices have been made these "rules" seem more like life-saving gifts.
Think how different life might be if we all paused and asked ourselves this crucial question: How much will this choice really cost me? If we teach ourselves and our kids nothing else this week than to ask this one question, we will have invested wisely. So, so very wisely.
Dear Lord, I am reminded that boldly following You is so much better than any short-term experience that's not pleasing to You. Give me Your eyes so that I can see temptation and its many different faces. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Think of a current situation in your life that requires a decision from you. Have you taken the time to consider the cost?
Have you taken the time to help a friend, child or spouse think through considering the cost of their choices?
John 10:10, "'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'" (NIV)
Isaiah 30:21, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" (NIV)
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