Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water. —Isaiah 1:22
Human ego has always wanted it all. In Adam’s case, “wanting it all” was reflected in a desire to be blessed by God while disregarding His Word. But reality is very demanding. In Adam’s case, it demanded that he choose one over the other. It turned out, he chose poorly.
In our context, “wanting it all” often refers to conforming to the world’s standards while we work to change it. But the same reality that surrounded Adam demands that we too choose one over the other—to either conform to the world or change it. It turns out, we’re choosing poorly.
The voice of our culture tells us that life is like having a $5M gift certificate to your favorite store—you can buy everything. But the Bible describes life as being given a $500 gift certificate to that store—you’re delighted with the gift and can have a blast spending it, but you’re going to have to make some choices, because $500 won’t buy everything.
And many of those choices cannot be made on the fly. The line of resistance that separates you from the world will constantly be moving if you don’t choose ahead of time where you’re going to draw it. Lines drawn according to how we feel in a particular situation tend not to last. Situations change, feelings evolve and lines blur.
You can make choices based on your feelings—but feelings have a shelf life. God calls us to use a different filter, our faith—because only the Word of God lives forever.
Most Christians have a but for everything:
• “I know it’s a very violent television show, but it’s so well written.”
• “I know it’s an immoral movie, but it’s so funny.”
• “I know I’m supposed to go to church regularly, but our family’s so busy.”
• “I know the Bible condemns it, but it just doesn’t feel wrong.”
• “I know what the Bible says about that lifestyle, but they’re such wonderful people.”
That’s the choice, to either move forward with a but or live with a because. We may get upset with the trajectory the world is following, but the world’s not the problem. God never expects people to act like believers until they are believers. Christians have the potential to radically transform the culture. It wouldn’t take more than six months to turn the corner—if we chose to change the world rather than conform to it.