The Right Moves
Every move we make in life opens up both perils and possibilities. There are numerous potentialities and problems with each step we take and very often they come in the same parcel.
In order to minimize the chance of a misstep potentially leading to a tragedy, self-examination is a must. Self-examination is a matter of self preservation (II Corinthians 13:5). Such an examination means that we look for faults in what we believe, how we live and our attitude. What we call faith must be understood and should result in productive efforts and actions. We must make sure that what we think is good is confirmed to be constitutionally good. This means that we adopt a proven, objective standard for the way we live. Self-examination is a safeguard that can keep us from allowing small mistakes to turn into major defeats.
Every Step and Every Decision Counts
We must consider the impact of our words and actions (Proverbs 21:5). The way we think is at the center of how it goes. Those that advocate the Bible as the best path to take to a happy, healthy, meaningful life must be those most inclined to a solid thought process relating to attitudes and actions. One’s focus must be directed; based on consideration and steadiness. We must trace matters back to their cause. Whether we are inclined to do this or not, there will always be follow through to what is thought and felt (Proverbs 16:1). This emphasizes the need for an objective standard by which to live. If that standard can be trusted, it can be fully utilized and applied, resulting in a greater understanding of the issues at hand.
Think Beyond the Present
It has been said that if we fail to plan, we should plan on failing. Part of that planning should be reflection on what has and has not worked in the past. If we do not search for the root cause of what is taking place, we will fail, repeatedly. Christians should believe, at least at the individual level, that the world has the potential to improve and that they can assist in that improvement (meliorism). Whether this is true in the larger sense is arguable, but it should at least be considered possible in one’s own corner of the world relating to actions based on an objective standard.
Good Enough, Never Is
In making the right moves to make things better in our lives or in what is happening around us, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Settling for less than our personal best is still a serious mistake and is at the very least a misstep. The Christian must come to realize that neither of two bad options will ever be sanctioned by God. In this regard, the absence of excuses is a good gauge for self-examination. Doing what is right by God’s standard for living never requires excuses.
William James said that, “The true is that which works.” That is a good litmus test for those following the path of Christianity. Their lives should be a demonstration of a step by step process for making a difference through application of the truth.
A Formula for Avoiding Disastrous Missteps
1. Be well versed. Know what should be done and how to do it.
2. A well organized life doesn’t allow for sinful clutter and thoughtless mistakes.
3. Keep God’s plan in focus daily. We should see each step we take as vital to the fulfillment of His plan for our lives.
4. Verify God’s approval for your plans. Disaster is contained in plans that do not fit with God’s direction.
5. Make sure all relationships are well based. Friendly perversion is a headlong rush in the wrong direction.
6. Trace problems back to their source. If we find they originate with us, confess, repent and start moving forward again.
7. Examine, prove and know where you stand (II Corinthians. 13:5). Get rid of the unprofitable and employ the beneficial.
This column is the opinion of Dr. M. Hildon Guy, President of the University of Christian Studies and Seminary in Eagle River and is a Board Member of Love INC of Eagle River.