'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Recently someone very close to me was complimented concerning their past relationship. The relationship was not always pleasant or agreeable - often very stressful. However, this person said of the one close to me that they had always "taken the high road", and that it was appreciated and admired now - after interaction with each other was no longer required. A veiled admission that the one had only taken the low road.
Do we always take the high road - or do we sometimes settle for the low road?.
If we take the low road, it is often easier traveling, more comfortable, safer. The way of least resistance. But by taking this road we can miss much - we could even miss the Kingdom of God. And the difficulty here is that choosing the high road usually requires a deliberate choice - the low road we can more or less just fall onto. The road to eternal life is a "strait and narrow" road - a very high road in the eyes of the world - even a very foolish road, some would say. It is customary to adjust actions, opinions, and beliefs to fit the circumstances of the moment - in short to compromise. The law of accommodation, to fit in, to blend with the status quo. Very few "take the high road" of integrity, honor, honesty. After all, compromise is the very stuff of politics, commerce, and - yes, even Christianity.
Many believe that Christians must blend in, take what is often an easier road, so that we may influence outward - out toward the world, to "make a difference" for good. Often this is read by the world as a religious con game. It sees it as selfserving hypocracy. It is not impressed - the world deals in cons all the time. They know one when they see one.
The justification often offered is Paul’s statement about becoming all things to all that he might save some (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). Paul simply meant that he entered into people’s circumstances, so that he understood where they were, empathizing with why they where they were. This approach reduced natural hostility toward the gospel. But to enter into their wrong actions and become like them would have amounted to a “ends justifies the means” philosophy. This would be a “lets us sin that grace may abound” attitude which was endorsed by some during New Testament times (Romans 6:1).
But with Christ, ways and means are very important. We cannot bring about righteousness using unrighteous approaches. From righteousness comes righteousness - from unrighteousness comes unrighteousness. Sin breeds sins. It only seems right at the time (Proverbs 16:12; 14:25).
When Abraham and Lot were considering each going their separate ways, Abraham gave Lot his choice. He was willing to take whatever was not desired by Lot. Interestingly, Lot chose the low road - into the lowlands, that seemed to be lush, and desirable. Besides, there was Sodom and Gomorrah - exciting urban activities galore. But Abraham took what Lot did not want.(Genesis 13:7-13). It only appeared to be the "low road". Actually, it was the "high road". As an example of the grace of God, in His mercy he eventually delivered Lot from that low road. Abraham was willing to allow Lot to do what seemed right to him.
God often does the same with us. He will allow us take the road that seems good to us, knowing full well where that road will lead. And then - again in His mercy - He is willing to step in and say in effect, I told you so - and then deliver us. Abraham was willing to let not only Lot have his way, but left all options open for God guide and have His way with him. I am reminded of an ol hymn, "have your own way, Lord - have your own way. You are the potter; I am the clay...". So it was with Abraham.
Lot's choice was not necessarily sin, although he was plunging into a cesspool of sin, exposing himself to very bad influences. It looked so desirable, so inviting. It was logical. It “seemed like the thing to do at the time“, a cynical expression for failure to do the right thing that has become popular today. So it seemed to Lot. The record of Abraham and Lot at their crossroad illustrates the fruit of choices. God showed Himself as the God of grace and mercy. He delivered Lot from the fruit of taking a wrong and low road. Even then, Lot was still desiring another low road (Genesis 19:17-20). He does the same with us - often without our even realizing it. But just as often we must live with our choices. Ultimately we must all die with the record of our choices, as well as our deliverances.
There is a high road and low road for everyone. The high one will take us upward to life. The low one will take us downward to death. The high road is both hated and loved. If it is loved, it is not loved for itself, but for the result that it produced which is deemed desirable. A case of loving the end, but not the means. Christ requires both right ways and right means.
With every choice, every response, every thought and action - there is always just two roads (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Have you come to a crossroad? Which road will you take...?
May God grant you the grace and strength to take the “high road”...the one that will take you home. Once you have chosen that road - remember Lot's wife...(Genesis 19:24-26).
"So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.”- Matthew 7:12-14 (AB)
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