We praise people who are willing to act on their principles and conviction. When someone is willing to give up a job, or money, or other “important” things because of their moral convictions, we look up to them as a person who has great character. One person said, “character is what you stand for.” We might add to that definition that character is being willing to give up anything in order to stay true to your convictions.
If I were to ask 100 Christians, “What would you be willing to give up to get to heaven?” I would be willing to wager that most of them would reply, “anything.” However, if you were to get a truly honest answer from them, you’ll find that there are some things that they’re not really all that interested in giving up. Mentally, we are ready to say “I’ll give up anything!” But like the apostle Peter, when it comes down to actually doing it, it is a different matter (see Matthew 26:35 and verses 69-75).
In fairness to Peter, the Scriptures teach that he was willing to give up his livelihood in order to follow Jesus (Mark 1:16-20). The same can be said of Peter’s brother, Andrew, as well as two other brothers: James and John. They left their fishing business behind in order to follow Jesus.
Are your convictions that strong? If the place where you worked began selling pornography or supporting sinful behavior, would your convictions be strong enough to quit? Or would you rationalize it away and say, “well, I’ve got to pay the bills”?
Jesus made a promise to all of us that if we put Him and His kingdom first, everything we truly need will be taken care of by God (Matthew 6:33). When God Himself (in the flesh) makes a promise, it’s one we can depend on! Do you have enough faith in God to trust that promise–even if it means quitting a job you may have worked at for decades?
Most of us will never be in a situation where we may be forced to quit our jobs over such things. But what about other things in life? Do you spend more time on Facebook than you do in prayer and Bible reading combined? If you realize that doing things online is keeping you from focusing on God, do you have the convictions to do something about it?
But let’s make it even more practical. How much time do you spend on the computer compared to the time you spend with your children? or your spouse? It’s a commonly reported sight to see a husband and wife out to eat with each other, but both are so busy doing things with their phones that they aren’t actually spending time together. If things continue like this, I won’t be surprised if 80% of American adults end up with a condition I like to call “texter’s hunch”…but I also won’t be surprised if most of the marriages have major problems because of a lack of real communication.
Take a look at your relationship with God and Christ. Take a look at your relationship with your spouse and your children. Then take a look at the things in your life that are keeping those relationships from being what they should–and give them up!
If it’s a hobby, give it up!
If it is unnecessary time on the computer, give it up!
If it is a relationship with someone else, give it up!
You may say I’m being harsh, but I ask you this: what is more important to you, God or your stuff? your marriage, or your stuff? your kids or your stuff?
What kind of character do you have?