Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. –Philippians 4:8
Did you ever come home at 11:30 p.m. for a midnight curfew? It’s not likely. As a teenager, I remember waiting on my front steps until 11:59 p.m. before going inside. When given the opportunity, it seems to be in our nature to push the limits to the very farthest degree. Perhaps you’ve asked this question before: how far is too far? How much noise can I make until I push Mom over the edge? How fast over the speed limit can I drive before the police will pull me over? How much can I cheat before getting caught?
We like living on the edge. The problem is that when we live life near the edge, we can go too far before we realize it. It’s like driving on a winding mountain road. On many of them, as you near the edge, you’ll hit a series of warning grooves that cause you to start bumping along. They are there to remind you to get back on the right track. Driving on the edge of a road is dangerous, because it can be easy to lose control and drive off of it.
The Christian life is much the same. I used to think some of the rules in the Bible were cumbersome. I have come to realize, however, that it is these very guidelines–like warning grooves on a road–that help keep me from flying over the edge and losing control in my life. God’s commandments and principles are there for our protection so we can experience all God wants us to experience. Typically, when people lose control of their lives, it hasn’t been just one bad decision that launches them off a moral cliff, but a series of bad decisions along the way. The Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and our brothers and sisters in Christ help provide us with the warning grooves and the guardrails we need to keep us from flying out of control and going over the edge.
Thank God today for giving us the help we need to stay on the “narrow road.”
1. What is the meaning of today’s verse, Philippians 4:8?
2. Pray today, asking the Lord to show you who can be a companion to walk beside you and help keep you accountable in your thoughts and actions.
Ecclesiastes 4:11-13; James 5:13-18; 1 John 3:1-2