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Updated: Sept. 22, 2013
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- Taking Out The Garbage part 2
- Taking Out The Garbage
- Let's Get Specific
- How God Expects Us to Build
- Faith That Brings Walls Down
- All Dressed Up and Someplace to go
From the Desk of the Pastor
Mar. 19, 2014
The Lure of Momentary Pleasure
You probably read the story of Jacob and Esau today and thought, “I can't believe Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. How foolish!” But let's think beyond birthrights and soup. Is there anything of true value that you are trading for something of lesser worth? In other words, what is your "bowl of soup”?
Have you pursued wealth and a career at the expense of family? Maybe your busy schedule has kept you from spending time with God in His Word each day. Some people become involved in extramarital affairs, trading the well-being of their family for the satisfaction of lustful desires. Others sacrifice their health by consuming harmful or addictive substances, or even by overindulging in food. The list of ways we make foolish, shortsighted choices is endless.
Some of the decisions we make today could rob us of the blessings God wants to give us. When you yield to temptation in a moment of weakness, you're actually sacrificing your future for momentary pleasure. We can't afford to live thoughtlessly, basing our decisions on immediate desires or feelings. Since the principle of sowing and reaping cannot be reversed, we need to carefully consider what we are planting. The harvest will come, and we'll reap what we have sown--and more than we've sown.
When we are faced with a decision on whether to yield to a desire, take a moment and do an exercise I have labeled, “Play out the Movie.” This involves playing out potential consequences of your action in your mind, before you do it. In essence, you are “playing out the movie” of your life in your mind. Follow your desired course of action to its logical conclusion in your mind. Then ask yourself, “Does the momentary benefits/pleasure outweigh the potential ramifications?” Let me give you an example.
Suppose you become friendly with a co-worker. It starts out innocent enough. You make small talk during your break or lunch. Over time, perhaps a few months, the level of intimacy increases. Your conversations go from the routine, “What did you do this weekend?” to “I wish I could talk to my spouse the way I do with you.” You begin to text each other at nights and on the weekends. Then, the time of temptation comes. You receive an invitation from your co-worker for a secret rendezvous at a hotel. What do you do? You “play out the movie.” What could be the possible ramifications?
- Your spouse and your co-worker’s spouse will find out about the affair.
- Your family and your co-worker’s family are torn apart by the betrayal.
- You and your co-worker could possibly lose your jobs because of anti-fraternization policies.
- You and your co-worker could potentially lose your marriages because of infidelity.
- The resulting divorce would create financial hardship for you and your co-worker.
- The emotional and mental harm inflicted upon your children, and your co-worker’s children will be difficult to overcome.
After considering all of this, ask yourself: “Is it really worth it?”
Are you contemplating anything that could have serious long-term ramifications if you yield to the yearning? A wise person evaluates choices by looking ahead to see what negative consequences could follow a course of action. Don't let "a bowl of soup" hinder God's wonderful plans for you.
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