Thursday October 27, 2011
If there was one word that would describe young people today I would use the word entitlement. They feel that they deserve to get everything that their parents have worked a lifetime to get. They want the best car. They want the latest styles in clothes. They want to go out to the fast food restaurants to eat if not everyday at least a few times a week. They feel the need to get the latest computer or latest iPhone. The latest jeans. The best tennis shoes. The coolest t-shirts. Entitlement.
And what about discipline. Most teenagers today have no concept regarding being disciplined. They live for the moment and change their plans on a whim. There are so many temptations out there in real life along with temptations on the internet that it is very difficult to maintain a level of ethical standard in the midst of myriads of temptations.
There was a young man in the old testament who sought not to compromise his standards in the midst of being tempted to do so. He had been taken from his homeland and had become a slave in a foreign land. He was being indoctrinated in the culture of this foreign land and decided to stand up and not compromise his principles. His name was Daniel and this is what was said of him. “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. . . .”Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” (Daniel 1:8, 12-15 NIV). His first step in not compromising himself was to have a resolve within himself. When we are tempted to compromise our ethical standards, we often give into the temptations because we have not determined what we want for our lives internally. What I will or will not do starts way before I am tempted. That determination internally caused Daniel to look for alternative ways to maintain his ethical and moral standards.
On our journey today, what are the possible compromising places where we are tempted to veer off course of what God wants for us. In order to stay on the course, we need to internally choose not to defile ourselves and it starts with resolve.