Friday, November 13, 2009


Human nature being what it is, often leads persons to take a short cuts. It could be they are short of time and need to expedite the achieving of a task. They could also be an emergency of some sort. But chances are, the real reason is that they are either looking for an easy way. We tend to be lazy, unwilling to commit any more effort than absolutely necessary to get somewhere or to accomplish some goal. More and more of our nation's youth are opting for the GED test rather than staying in school. Its easier and it is quicker, or so they think. Most of those taking this route are met with the reality that learning takes time.

Have you ever looked at a map to find the shortest route to get someplace? Whether it is to save time or to save gas, the short route always appeals to us. However, the reason MapQuest and other similar services give you the best way is, of course, because it is the best way. Shortcuts almost always involve taking roads that are narrower, rougher, and most often, more dangerous. Anyone who has driven the side road of America knows that the Interstate Highway System is faster, safer, and saves ware and tare on the car. I have seen shortcuts taken in old Westerns where the herd was taken over a mountain range to save time, avoid rustlers, or because the ramrod thought he was smarter than the other guy. He loses stock, peace of mind, and the good graces of his ranglers. Leaders might want to remember that trying the difficult was one too many times reduces their following.

There are several examples in the Bible where folks tried the "easy way." Take Adam and Eve, for instance. The Devil knew that given enough time, they would learn the difference between good and evil, but he also knew there was a shortcut. Basically, he told them their source of information was wrong and for them to trust him. He "suggested" that they take a shortcut by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It must have sounded good to them, because the risked death to do it. Although they didn't die physically the moment they ate, they did die spiritually then, and physically later. The Devil is good at what he does: evil.

Satan tried to convince Jesus that He could gain control of all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only worship him. Notice Jesus didn't challenge the Devil's ownership. After all, Adam traded the control of the world for a piece of fruit. We are told that Satan is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4), so he wasn't offering Jesus something that was not his to give. But Jesus did know what the Scriptures said about worship: only God is to receive worship. He also knew that one day, all the kingdoms of the world would be His. He will return to this fallen world and claim it for His own. He didn't choose the easy way, avoiding the cross to offer salvation to whosoever would trust in Him, but kept His focus on the will of His Father to the end. Thanks be to God!

So the next time you feel like cutting in line, getting rich via the lottery, or trying to travel "as the crow flies," remember there always consequences. Carry your child to full-term whenever possible. Stick it out in the marriage you are struggling in; trust me, eventually you will see that the easy way out had a much higher cost than learning to live together according to God's will (He hates divorce because if separates what He has joined together). Shortcuts are extremely dangerous; take with caution.

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