Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ - Genesis 14:22-23
When I was younger, I wanted to be everyones friend. If someone was popular I wanted to be connected to them. If someone was smart, I wanted to hang out with them so others thought I was smart too.
Being friends with everyone was difficult though. I found that some of my friends did things and said things that were against what I believed. And, when this happened it created a dilemma inside of me. I was forced to choose between what I knew was right or confronting my friends and letting them know I could not participate.
Often, my desire to please people caused me to make the wrong choice. I chose to avoid confrontation and in doing so, I became influenced by the behaviors of my friends. I started to view my popularity and my ability to be accepted and known, as conditional upon my friendship with these same people. In my mind I became indebted to them. I owed them allegiance because they made me who I was and what I wanted to be - which was liked and accepted.
Abram faced a similar problem when the king of Sodom offered him riches and the spoils of war after Abram rescued lot and some of the king of Sodom's people. Abram, knowing that the king of Sodom oversaw a kingdom that was sinful and displeasing to the LORD (Genesis 13:12-13) wanted nothing to do the King friendship or offer of riches.
Instead of putting his trust in a king or becoming indebted to him, Abram instead chose to put his faith in the LORD. He remembered the LORD's covenant and promise that he, the LORD, would make him into a great nation and give him the land that the king of Sodom reigned over. Abram chose wisely.
The lessons from this verse apply still to this day. Whether it be at work or in our communities I need to be open to discipleship opportunities but guarded against the ways of this world. I must be guarded against relationships that are not healthy or fruitful. I must be guarded against actions that pull me away from God instead of bringing me closer to him (Romans 12:2).
As an entrepreneur, leader, and people person this is extremely challenging, but when I remember the promises of God I find the peace and wisdom I need to make the right choice. When I remember that being known, accepted, and loved by God is something I don't have to work for but already have through Christ, the decisions become easier and the right path reveals itself.
LORD, thank you for being all that I need. Help me not to get caught up in the approval of men and women around me but to rely on your love and acceptance. Holy Spirit, give me the wisdom I need to make the right choices each day - to engage the world with your Good News, but also with a discerning heart that protects me and my family. Jesus, teach how to be in this world but not of this world. Amen.
Questions To Consider:
- Do you feel the pressure at work or in your community to do things that go against what you know is right?
- Is there someone or something that has been receiving your trust and faith instead of you giving it to the LORD?
- Are there any relationship in your life that need to end so that you can return to living and leading for the LORD?
Make it a great day!