November 4, 2010The CostLysa TerKeurst
"...in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."
2 Corinthians 2:11(NIV)
Devotion:Yesterday I sat at the DMV with my 15 year-old daughter while an officer talked to Ashley about how important it is to make good choices. She was getting her learner's permit and entering the often scary world of teenage drivers. "We've had 320 teens killed this year in fatal car accidents so we want to do everything possible to keep you safe," the officer said sternly as she highlighted for Ashley all the many rules for new drivers. Then she suggested signing a contract with her parents incorporating these rules.
I've never wanted to hug a DMV officer. But, it was all I could do not to reach across the desk and throw my arms around her. My husband and I wrote a driving contract that we've made each of our teenaged children sign. I'm sure our kids have thought our contract to be a bit over the top. After all, none of their friends have had to sign such a document with their parents. So, it was good to hear another adult speak truth into the life of my child. And the thing I loved about her sermonette on safe driving is how much she emphasized the cost of wrong choices.How I wish we could see the cost of each of our choices as clearly as a price tag on items in a store. If I know how much something is going to cost me, I make such wiser choices. But we have an enemy who schemes against us to keep the cost of dumb decisions concealed until it's too late.
Satan wants to defeat, discourage, and destroy our families. His attacks are not just willy-nilly attempts to trip us up or knock us down. He wants to take us out. That's why, as parents, we've got to boldly fight for our families. We must get intentional with teaching our kids to think through their choices. And we must get intentional about modeling good choices as well.Do you know why Satan's tactics are called schemes in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11? A scheme is a plan, design, or program of action. Satan's schemes are well thought through plans specifically targeted to do three things:
1. To increase your desire for something outside the will of God.
2. To make you think giving in to a weakness is no big deal.
3. To minimize your ability to think through the consequences of falling to this temptation.
Satan is a master of keeping that cost hidden until it's too late.
Sweet sisters, I think this is something worth thinking about. And I think it is something worth talking to our kids about. Think of age appropriate examples of how costly wrong choices can be. Be real and raw and bold as you walk them through different scenarios of temptations they will face.
That DMV officer was certainly bold in her explanation of how costly it can be when a teen gets distracted by their ipod, cell phone, or friends acting silly while driving. Hearing her explain to my daughter how costly other's poor choices have been made these "rules" seem more like life-saving gifts.
Think how differently life might be if we all paused and asked ourselves this crucial question, How much will this choice really cost me? If we teach ourselves and our kids nothing else this week than to ask this one question, we will have invested wisely. So, so very wisely.
Dear Lord, I am reminded that boldly following You is so much better than any short term experience that's not pleasing to You. Give me Your eyes so that I can see temptation and its many different faces. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:Visit Lysa's blog for a free copy of "The Driving Contract." This is something every parent should have!
Application Steps:Satan is a master of keeping that cost hidden until it's too late. Be honest with yourself and think of some of the costs that you have had to endure in your life. Consider coming to grips with these costs and telling your friends, children and others about what you have learned.
How can I, right now where I am, make a different decision with a situation in my life that has a cost?
Have I taken the time to consider the cost?
Have I taken the time to help a friend, my child or my spouse think through considering the cost of their choices?
2 Corinthians 2:4, "For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you." (NIV)
Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (NIV)
MY 2 CENTS: 1 Corinthians 10:13, "...And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."