Virtue is a positive quality developed by taking a firm stand for the right in temptation, or by the suffering endured in consequence of wrongdoing. (Max Heindel)
I cannot help but think there are some who think bearing any consequences for wrongdoing is just 'not fair'. It is like they expect to do something against moral or ethical standards and just go on as though nothing bad happened. The consequences for bad choices should always be there - even when we think otherwise. If nothing else, I have felt the very guilty conscience for some of my wrong actions in life - a feeling that led me straight to my knees and into pretty deep conversation with my Maker! Why? I don't want to live by the violation of any moral or ethical standard, but I make wrong choices that require me to make course adjustments in life. Sometimes I bear the real and tough consequences for my actions, while at others I know God has spared me some painful ones that are merely because of his extreme love and mercy. If we want to stand for anything in this lifetime, we need to stand for what is right - and that may include us bearing up under some pretty tough consequences that we probably would have rather avoided.
A man will not stand by doing what is wrong, but the root of those who are right with God will not be moved. (Proverbs 12:3)
We all 'stand for' something in this lifetime. I want us to take a little inventory this morning to really ask ourselves what it is our lives are telling others that we 'stand for' today. Not what we tell ourselves that we stand for, but what others observe in our lives as the things we genuinely 'stand for' by our life actions. We will make our list and if we were bold enough to ask someone else to make a list of what they see us standing for in life, I wonder if those lists would be remotely similar? Oh, some of the points will probably match up very closely, but there may be others that are on our list (the things we think we stand for), but they don't even show up on the other person's list. Why is that? Have you ever heard that old saying, "We talk the walk, but we don't always walk the talk"? We have a lot of things we think we 'stand for' in this life we walk, but in truth, it is merely talk.
Nothing is harder than getting our 'walk' and 'talk' to align. It is quite easy to 'commit' to one thing, but as soon as something more appealing comes along, we find ourselves bailing on our commitment. Don't believe me? Drive by some garage sales this Saturday and observe just how many weight benches, treadmills, and exercise bikes are for sale! It isn't because they upgraded - those things were gathering dust and it was time for them to go! The commitment was there at one time, but it waxed and waned until the thing that meant so much to them just didn't matter anymore. It may be time for us to look at the things in our life that we have taken a 'stand for' and just how much of that 'stand' really remains today. If we find there is any disconnect between what we say we stand for and what we manifest, it is time for an adjustment. Either the stand was wrong, or the commitment isn't there. Just sayin!