Holding to a strict code of obedience is difficult for even the strongest Christian. Ultimately, the consequences can be far reaching, even painful for others. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
When you and I commit to full obedience to the Word of God, what does that mean for our relationships with others, especially those who don’t carry obedience to the same extreme or, perhaps, are unbelievers and have no regard for obeying? These people may indeed be our friends. In some cases they may be our dearest friend. Are friends largely unaffected by our quest to obey God at any cost? When we choose consummate obedience it’s likely that our friends will be affected. Remember as a kid when your best pal wanted to do something that really bothered your conscience? The temptation was strong to go along to get along, a very strong urge for most kids. Nonetheless, if you were able to avoid the urge, how did it affect your friendship? Likely, at least for a brief period, your friendship was jeopardized. Rule of thumb is that when we decide to obey at any cost others will likely be affected.
Holding to a strict code of obedience is difficult for even the strongest Christian. And, ultimately, the consequences of our devotion to obedience can be far reaching, even painful for others.
Here’s a story. How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word. With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, “I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it.” (Our Daily Bread.)
That faithful dog did what he was told to do, stay put until his master returned. In the end it cost him his life, but obedience was fundamental to his character as a dog and cardinal to his love for his master. Who suffered the most in this story? It was the master. Although the dog gave his life, the master had a life taken from him. He had to live with that. God calls you and I to come to a knowledge of what is true, right and good according to his Word. That means there will come times in our lives when the call to obedience will affect others, like it or not. The temptation for us will always be go along to get along, whether you are 16 or 86. The temptation is based foundationally in our inclination to avoid hurting others due to our inability to conform to accepted norms. We need to avoid the guilt and abide the obedience. We are to stay put in our good conscience until Jesus returns or God takes us home. It may cost our life and will affect others. Don’t worry though, God will handle the hurt as long as we handle the obeying.
We pray. Heavenly Father, hurting others because of our will to obey our conscience and serve you is one of the hardest things for us to do in life. Our friends are important and they don’t always understand why we would put you before them. Thank you for giving us a conscience to remind us of the importance of obedience in the life of a Christan disciple. Help us to put away the temptation to go along to get along. Forgive us Lord when we fail to heed our conscience because of friendships. Lord, help our friends to understand and comfort them when we hurt them out of obedience to you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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