Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Moving the Line

Imagine with me that a man is about to start a race in which he has to run a short distance. His opponent is formidable, and he knows there is no way to win. So, he goes to where he is supposed to finish and picks up the paper line that marks the finish of the race and moves it three feet backwards.

What is my point in this silly story? Well, I relate it to our present society, and how easy it is to let our standards slide.

Imagine that you have made a promise not kiss a man outside of marriage. You start dating someone who does not have that same standard, and you fall deeply in love with this person. You know what you have decided in your heart, but somehow, an excuse works its way into your mind. Then one day, you kiss this person. In this situation, you have just moved your “line of conviction” back three steps. If you have no problem with moving it, then you will certainly move it again. Pretty soon you will be doing things that you told yourself you never would do outside of marriage.

Another example would be drugs and alcohol. You tell yourself that no one can tempt you, that no one can cause you to drink or do drugs. And then someone you know hands you a drink or a packet of drugs. You look at that person and think, “Well, they don’t look drunk or stupid. I guess it is okay.” Then you start going to parties, getting drunk on the weekends, and spending your savings on the drugs that you desire so much. This is another example of moving the line backwards. Although you had a standard set in your heart, it only took Satan’s excuses to set you on a road of addiction and pain.

Then there is the example of a person who does not know where their line stands. They try out dating without any real standards and experiment with drinking and drugs without firmly deciding that they are wrong. These people’s lines move constantly, going through spurts and phases. Although this person may eventually find the path of Life, they will make many mistakes in the process.

YOU MUST KNOW WHERE YOUR STANDARDS LIE. I cannot stress this enough! If you do not have specific convictions and a determination to keep them, then Satan will run all over you and your life will become something you never imagined.

Deuteronomy 8:11 says, “Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.” This verse stresses the fact that we must not forget God while we live our lives! Excuses can ruin even the best of men, making them believe that “just this once” is a worthy defense.

Standards must be set and carried out if you are to remain strong and unwavering in your faith. Moving the line is easy and must be avoided at all costs. Though it is hard, we must fight. Though excuses pervade our thoughts, we must ignore them and keep pressing forward in our Heavenly Father’s light.

Keep your standards where they are or move them forward, but never let them slide back to a place where you have ruined your life.

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