Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jiminy Cricket, Temptation Strikes Again

Jiminy Cricket: Now, you see, the world is full of temptations.
Pinocchio: Temptations?
Jiminy Cricket: Yep, temptations. They're the wrong things that seem right at the time... but... uh... even though the right things may seem wrong sometimes, or sometimes the wrong things, may be right at the wrong time, or visa versa. Understand?
Pinocchio: Uh-uh. But I'm gonna do right.
Jiminy Cricket: Atta boy, Pinoke! And I'm gonna help ya. 

Ever struggle with your motivation to stay on the straight and narrow? Had to laugh at an experience I had this morning. Pulled into the Safeway parking lot to get some milk and half-and-half before the roommate arises and finds we have none. She and I both like the white stuff in our coffee. My turn to buy.
Deli Parking
15 minutes
.... says the sign where I often stash the Honda when I'm just going in for one or two items.

But then I thought: this isn't right. I'm not going to the deli. I'm going to the dairy section. Huh.

The facing car had a license-plate holder on the front. It read,
He died for me
I'll live for him.
Okay, okay, it's a sign. Literally, anyway. I'll go. I moved the car three spaces down. It didn't kill me.

A few minutes later, walking back to the front of the store with my purchases, I realized this would be a great day to make a quiche; now we had milk and there's a pie crust in the door of the freezer just waiting to be used. Ironically, the one ingredient I would need to buy was something available only in, yes, the deli...

I suppose I could have kept that parking space after all, huh?

A conscience is a tricky thing, is it not? I don't tend to guard mine very carefully. I cheat and cut corners when I don't think it matters. Yet I've also discovered that if I want my will to be strong enough for faithfulness in the big things, the best preparation is being faithful in the small ones.

I guess the other trap is self righteousness. A track record of faithfulness in the small things is no reason for pride and arrogance. Jesus had some tough words for those who considered themselves good people:
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former." (Matthew 23:23) 
>> Any tips for avoiding legalism and antinomianism, both? I'd be glad to hear them. Or, of course, your silly stories!

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