“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin;when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. Many, LORD, are asking, ‘Who will bring us prosperity?’ Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep,for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:1-8).
Sam was a man interested in helping people. He thought the best way to do this was as a social entrepreneur.
A social entrepreneur is someone who wants to create change in his or her community to benefit others. Profit is not the main motive. The main goal is to assist people.
To do this, the social entrepreneur uses innovative approaches, the same kinds used by a person who wants to create a normal business. It’s just that they have different aims.
Sam wasn’t sure what problems he wanted to tackle, so he thought he would do a little research. So when he was invited to a party, he thought he would ask the guests what they thought were some issues they would like to see addressed.
This party was a costume party, so everyone wore a disguise. Thus, Sam was flying blind in his pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. He might gain the information he needed, but he would have to overcome the lack of true interaction which would be prevented by the costumes.
Sam got off to a good start. He circulated throughout the party, meeting and talking to people. As he broke the ice, he began to learn what they would do if they had the time and motivation to deal with society’s problems.
When he could, Sam went into a corner and took notes. He intended to review them later for ideas to bring into focus his own goals.
Then, as he was on a balcony, reviewing his notes, Babs appeared. She was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen.
Sam became enchanted. He spent the next several hours focusing on Babs.
When Babs excused herself to go to the powder room, Sam suddenly remembered why he had come to the party in the first place. He now had a decision to make. Would he go after his goals, or Babs?
Sam made a plan. He went out to his car, where he had a backup costume, and quickly changed. He was now a different persona.
Sam returned to the party and saw Babs looking for him. He ignored her and spent the rest of the evening talking to the other guests, asking questions, and making notes.
As he departed the party, Sam had achieved what he had sought. He had plenty of idea to work with now in order to help people.
Sam is representative of many Christians. We want to achieve great things for God, and we start out with tremendous goals.
Somehow, though, life happens and we get distracted. We encounter many “Babs” in our journey and get tempted away from our pursuit of God and His plan for us.
We all are susceptible to temptation, but we all have different weaknesses. Some are waylaid by the pursuit of money, others by going after fame. There are some that are tripped up by sexual issues or illicit relationships.
One of the big problems with giving in to temptation is that creates too much noise for us to keep wholeheartedly seeking change, either in ourselves or on behalf of others.
Sin is time consuming and draining. It throws us off our game.
Jesus was no stranger to temptation, but He never let it divert Him from His mission from God. Heaven knows, His enemy Satan tried.
Immediately after Jesus had untertaken a righteous pursuit, seeking God the Father through fasting, Satan attacked. Jesus was hungry and weak at the time.
Satan appealed to different aspects of himan need to get Jesus to stumble. He tried to get to by tempting Him to give in to His hunger. Satan also appealed to the human desire for significance.
Jesus resisted, referring Jesus to the Word of God. Then He just told Satan to vamoose (Matthew 4:1-10)!
From then on, Jesus went after His goals. Right after his battle with Satan and successful victory over temptation, He began to recruit disciples who would help Him to accomplish them. Then He went public (Matthew 4:18-25).
I am a lot like Sam. These days I have a lot of distractions. I lay awake at night thinking of how to deal with them.
In many ways, these problems have thrown me off my game. I used to have a heart for ministry and reaching out to help others.
While the flame is still there, it is flickering, and almost out. I have become a lot like the bad seed Jesus referred to in the Parable of the Sower:
“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful (Mark 419).”
I’d rather be the person who was like a good seed, who listened to what God had to say, wasn’t distracted, and produced a large crop for Him (Mark 4:20).
The snares of this life are empty. They don’t satisfy, and to lie awake at night worrying about them is vain (Psalm 127:2).
There is only one solution to problems. They can’t be handled by worrying, or giving in to the temptation to douse the pain they cause through my own bogus means. The only answer to them is to run to God for the three ‘C’s’: comfort, consolation and cheer.