Breaking Up is Hard to Do…

“This is my prayer: that your love may abound more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10

Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit I recently made several dramatic changes to my lifestyle (1 Cor. 6:12-13, 19-20). I’ve found, through the implementation of these new habits, many “bad” habits came to light I was unaware of. As I mediated on such things I discovered three sources of influence over my choices:

#1-Parents

Some of the things I’ve done my whole life are a direct result of how I was raised (this is not a ding against my parents but merely a fact-see Proverbs 22:6). It’s extremely difficult to replace habits practiced for more than twenty years-but it can be done. The Holy Spirit has strengthened and enabled me to follow His will for my life today. (Phil. 4:13)

#2-Media

If I spend too much time reading/viewing secular media, I find it tempting to become overwhelmed with a wide variety of opinions (Rom. 12:1-2).  One week something is bad for you and the next week that same thing is good for you. If I choose to believe everything I read without seeking the will of God through His word and prayer, I will be on a constant roller-coaster of frustration.

#3-Christians

Many well-meaning Christians have a variety of opinions based on their interpretation of Scripture and their own experiences in life (often relating to how they were raised-something we all do). More often than not, I have experienced a great deal of criticism within Christianity regarding lifestyle choices, especially anything that contradicts what someone else is doing. Everyone has an opinion, interpretation, and a judgment. (Matt. 7:1-5) The only way I can really know what is best for me is to spend time in the word and prayer. (Phil. 4:6-7)

This isn’t the first time I’ve received negative feedback regarding a personal choice, but I do believe I am following God’s will for my life (recognizing this is not His specific calling for every believer). I’ve done research and made, what I believe to be, an informed decision based on that research and my relationship with God. I am the one who will answer for my choices; it is imperative I do whatever it takes to maintain a clear conscience before God. (James 4:17)

I’m now questioning every choice I make under this light: is it God’s word and Spirit guiding me or the habits and opinions of others?

“Planned Bank Robbery”

The following exerpt is from an article written by James N. Watkins titled: Planned Bank Robbery. Enjoy!

We hear a lot about “pro-choice” on the evening news and sound bites from politicians. We, too, want to avoid “legislating values and claiming there are moral absolutes.” Ethics is a personal choice, not a political or religious concern.

That’s why we’ve established “Planned Bank Robbery.” Now, we personally don’t approve of bank robbery, but we don’t want to inflict our morals on anyone else either. We’re “pro-choice” when it comes to grand larceny. It must be a personal decision of each individual.

Education is the key since our studies reveal that 99 percent of senior high teens know that banks are robbed. But it is shocking the number of teens who don’t know how banks are robbed.  Or even how to load a .357 magnum, drive a get away car, or demand, “Give me all your unmarked, non-sequentially-ordered twenty-dollar bills.” Young people need to know the wide range of career options available to them…

And young people who need some extra cash from their local 7-11 shouldn’t have to get their parents permission to obtain this protection [such as a bullet-proof vest]. If that were the case, hundreds more teens would be needlessly injured by narrow-minded parents who are trying to inflcit their morality on their children.

Again, let me emphasize that “Planned Bank Robbery” does not condone or encourage grand larceny. We only want to stress it is a personal decision. We’re “pro-choice”! ~James N. Watkins