Friday, June 22, 2007

Choosing the Greener Grass

Genesis 14:11-12 NIV

The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

When Abram offered to let Lot choose which land he wanted for his own, it was a generous offer. All of Canaan surrounded them - a rich, fertile land that God had set aside for His people. Lot looked around and saw that the plain of Jordan looked a lot greener, a lot more fertile, a lot better than the rest of the land. So he chose that land and moved his family and people and flocks there, near the city of Sodom. That city already had a bad reputation, but Lot probably wasn't worried about it. He figured he was strong enough to handle the temptation. Besides, it would be worth being near all that sin and corruption just to have possession of that beautiful country. By the time the four kings defeated the five (see v. 8-12), Lot and his family had succumbed to temptation and moved into the city... and they suddenly found themselves captured as prisoners of war. This was just the first of the many problems Lot would face as a result of his desire to have what seemed to be the very best.

You and I can face the same kind of decision Lot did in our own lives. A job that looks perfect - high salary, great benefits, incredible prestige, some power - and one that places you in one situation after another where you would be tempted to give in to the pressures of those around you... to work longer hours, to attend social functions that are nothing more than excuses to get drunk, to step on the toes of those around you, to "fudge" on your income tax to avoid doling out more money to Uncle Sam, to participate in the unethical (if not illegal) practices of the company in order to keep your job... Get the picture?

Or, maybe it's a car that is just what you always wanted... beautiful, sporty, loaded with all the extras... but all that extra power causes you to want to speed. Its classification as a sports car makes your insurance premiums go up. All those bells and whistles cost a lot to replace when they break. Most likely the payments are high. And its safety rating is nil, something you discover the hard way when you find yourself in a body cast after being hit from the rear in a multiple car collision.

When you're faced with a decision, don't always jump on the one that looks like the obvious best choice. Take a long and prayerful look at all the varying factors before choosing the grass that seems to be greener. All that pretty grass may contain hidden thorns.

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