REMINDER: SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS SWIMMING PARTY AT EMERALD FOREST POOL, NEXT SUNDAY, JUNE 5 AT 12:30 P.M. OR AS SOON AS YOU CAN GET THERE AFTER CHURCH. PLEASE BRING A LUNCH AND DESSERT WITH A LITTLE EXTRA TO SHARE AND COME HAVE A GREAT TIME OF FELLOWSHIP AND EATING AND SWIMMING. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THERE.
This week's lesson is the final lesson in the Andy Stanley series named "Guardrails." In the previous five weeks, we have discussed guardrails in all different areas of life: financial, marriage, sex, friends, and parenting. In today's lesson, Andy speaks to those of us who may disagree with the concept of setting guardrails in our lives. According to Andy, "Refusing to have guardrails doesn't solve anything. It just moves the guardrail closer to disaster." Andy argues that our refusal to set our own guardrail at a distance that is sufficently back from the abyss of disaster doesn't prevent us from being warned by a guardrail that is perhaps set by others. However, such a guardrail is usually dangerously close to disaster. In other words, if a married person chooses to go out and spend time with a friend of the opposite sex other than his/her spouse, it is not necessarily a sin. However, such behavior certainly moves one much closer to sexual sin and increases the likelihood that one would fall into maritial disaster.
Andy points out in today's lesson that no appetite is ever fully satisfied. When one feeds an appetite, it does nothing but grow. Therefore, thinking that I can do something just this one time and get away with it is faulty logic. Our appetite for that one thing just grows after we have allowed it to be saited one time. Andy suggests, "Draw a different line of tension far enough back that it is manageable and a step over the line is not likely to create disaster in one's life."
Wherever you say so, this is where your temptation begins. If you draw the line of temptation far enough away from disaster, you are likely to avoid the consequences of such a disaster.
Andy used the scripture from Daniel 1:5 to illustrate his point in today's lesson. Daniel was in a position where he could easily have compromised his principles and eaten the king's food. Yet, he recognized that compromise in our life does not erase the tension, it only weakens our resolve. Daniel resolved not to eat the king's food. He made up his mind BEFORE he knew the end of his story. Daniel was able to predict the end of his story if he participated in the king's food regiment and the cultural training to which he was being subjected. However, he resolved not to participate. Then, the game changer described in Daniel 1:9 took place, "Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials." The game changer: "Now, God..." When God acts, it changes the whole game. God will use your guardrail to not only protect you, but to guide and direct you as well. Make up your mind before you know the end of the story. "The integrity of the upright guides them..." (Proverbs 11:3).
Thanks to Natalie Halbert for her contribution to our discussion this morning in which Natalie shared the name of a book that her family purchased to help teach their kids how to be prepared for various situations that they might face in life. The name of the book is "STICKY SITUATIONS: 365 DEVOTIONS FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES."
I looked up the book on Amazon.com. The author is Betsy Schmitt. It sells on Amazon for $10.19. Please be aware that not all of the reviews for this book were positive. Some reviewers stated that the choices given in the multiple choice response format often included two ridiculous choices and the one obvious right answer. Others said that the wrong choices could provide kids with ideas that would never have had if they had not been exposed to the book. Another person said that the Bible verses that were correlated to the correct response were either irrelevant or were such a stretch to fit the scenario that they became irrelevant. One review said the idea of the book was great, but suggested that the author was put in a position of having to generate 365 relevant examples and situations and had been unable to do so. Given the cost of the book and the pages I was able to review, I would think it would be useful as a weekly or occasional devotion guide making it possible for one to pick and choose the very best items for review with your kids. It does seem like a great way to prepare your kids for situations that may encounter.
NEXT WEEK: WE WILL BEGIN AN EIGHT WEEK SESSION ON PARENTING BY DESIGN.