Sunday, December 30, 2018

"Finish Strong" Devotional ~ Day 34

Day 34 - Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Conflicts of Interest

Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: "Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy." (Leviticus 19:2)

A very common issue we deal with in business and in politics is that of Conflict of Interest. Executives in most companies have to sign affidavits that they are not involved in any activities that would conflict with their positions. Politicians and government officials have to verify that their private interests do not conflict with their public service. I was thinking that many Christians have a problem with conflict of interest.

I wonder how many Christians would be willing to sign a document guaranteeing that their activities would not be in conflict with their Christian principles. How many of us could say that our lifestyles do not conflict with the example set by our Lord?

Let me get real specific here:  Many times I've heard Christians talk about movies they've seen which would definitely be in conflict with Christian standards. Frequently you'll hear them say, "Well, except for a few bad scenes, it was a good movie," or "It's just impossible to find a movie nowadays that doesn't have something objectionable in it, but this one wasn't too bad." My friends, I believe a real commitment to Jesus Christ will cause us to take a close look at the movies we see ~ at home or in the theater ~ which would conflict with Christian standards. It will undoubtedly limit our movie going and watching very severely, but we should not be involved in this kind of conflict of interest.

What about the ethics and integrity of Christians on their jobs? How many times are they in conflict with their Christian principles? I am aware of many sad stories of Christians who fail to practice honesty on their jobs ~ who think nothing of lying or of taking things from their employer, like supplies or time. Those are conflicts of interest.

The reading material of many Christians would come in confli­ct with their Christian interests sometimes, too. Trashy novels; inappropriate magazines; internet websites that are sexually explicit; pornography. When you feed that junk into your mind, you have a conflict of interest with the mind of Christ within you. You're asking for problems.

How about you today? Could you honestly sign a Conflict of Interest agreement with the Lord? If you'd have to make some changes in order to do that, are you willing? One of the reasons we have not reached our world for Christ is not because we're outnumbered, but because those of us who know Christ have so many conflicts of interest, that our witness and our light are very weak and very dim. 

Today's Challenge:

To examine how I spend my time, identify habits which create a conflict of interest with my walk with Christ, and make necessary changes to honor him above all else.

Today's Prayer:
Lord, I confess that some of my activities have been in conflict with your righteousness and with your commands for how I am to live as your representative. Show me the areas where I need to better reflect your holiness, and give me the strength, wisdom, and perseverance I need to change.

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