Most of the main ideas in this blog are based on a message given by my pastor and friend Jim Samra, pastor of Calvary Church on Sunday, December 12, 2021. Thanks Jim!
Almost all spiritual, moral and relational choices reveal something about who and what we love the most. Either;
I love God.
I love others.
I love me.
Jim first read Genesis 13, the story of Abram and Lot coming out of Egypt where Abram had gone against the will of God by not trusting God to protect him and lying about Sarai being his sister to Pharaoh. It was clear in that decision Abram chose to love himself more than God, or Sarai.
He and lot then left Egypt, returned to Canaan because that was the land God promised him. Love of God.
But when they arrive, their herds men begin to fight over grazing rights. So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not quarrel. I’ll let you choose where you want to live and I’ll take what’s left over.” Love of others.
And Lot chooses the best land for himself even thought Abram is the elder and Lot is only his nephew. Love of self.
A few chapters later we read about Lot’s life falling apart because the land he chose was near Sodom and Gomorrah. He had chosen wealth and prosperity ahead of his love for God, even the spiritual welfare of his own family. When his family fled Sodom and Gomorrah, he lost everything. He got what he wanted, but lost what he had. Love of self.
When I dare take an honest look at my life, I can see me in this story. I’d like to think 90% of my decisions are based on loving God and others and only 10%, maybe 5% on pleasing me. That’s the nature of deceit.
So, at the beginning of this new year ahead of me, I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom to ask and honestly answer this question before I make a decision.
Who does the decision I’m about to make, or have made, show who I really love the most, God, others, or myself?
“Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law." Psalm 119:29
Speaking of deceit, there’s almost no area in life more deceiving than in the area of finances. So after next week’s blog I’ve devoted the four weeks following to the topics of money, lawsuits, settling disputes and resolving difficult family issues. If ever there was a need to ask the question above, it’s in these areas that often bring out the worst in us. May God give you and me the courage and wisdom to make more selfless, spiritual choices in the year ahead.