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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Don't is a mighty powerful word

Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests,  but take interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude Christ Jesus had. (Philippines 2:3-5 NLT)
Don't is a hard word for many of us. In fact, it is not uncommon for us to hear that word and then almost feel challenged to do it anyway! It is as though we know we shouldn't because we have been advised it would be unwise to do it, but there is a defiant part of us that wants to know why or what will happen if we do. I am not unlike others in this matter, for don't doesn't always work as enough of a deterrent to keep me from trying whatever it is. This means we might just need a little bit better of a deterrant!
What things act as deterrant in our lives? There are probably more than we might think, but here are just a few to get us thinking. We might be deterred because we have some fear, either natural or learned, of whatever it is we are challenged with. Fear can be a good deterrant, but it can also be a paralyzing one. We might find the breaking of trust as a deterrant, because an action in the direction we are advised not to go would result in trust between us and another being broken, sometimes irreparably. It is also quite possible we see the thing as not worth doing, so we more readily resist doing it. Regardless of the reasons for not doing something, we sometimes don't have the right filters working in our life to keep us deterred from doing it.
One of the most powerful deterrant we can have in operation in our lives is that of God's word. This is why we are told to hide it away in our hearts...so it will be there when we hear don't and are faced with the desire to do. Another very present deterrant that of the Holy Spirit presence in our lives. His still small voice often challenges just enough to pay closer attention to the command or advice to not do something and reminds us of the consequences if we do. As a child, considering the consequences didn't always keep me away from whatever it was I was told not to so, though. As I got older, I had learned there were consequences to be dealt with if I chose that particular action. Often it is the consequence that acts as an effective deterrant.
One thing must be kept in mind with any "reason" we might choose to not do something and that is the desire to have the same attitude as Christ exhibited in his example to us as he walked this earth. There are times when the deterrant we need to embrace is that little question, "What would Jesus do?" It is often very effective to just consider this for a moment and we will more than likely choose to obey rather than follow our own path. So, deterrant aren't bad, but they are only effective if we heed them! This means our desire to be like Christ must be stronger than our desire to do our own thjng. To that end, we need all these 'positive' deterrants in operation in our lives. Just saying.