2 Timothy 2:22 “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Split-second decisions often cause unpleasant consequences. We found this out the hard way recently.
Over Thanksgiving our family made a trip to Chicago to visit Aunt Catherine and Uncle Jesse. On the way there we drove on an Illinois Toll Road. Approaching the toll booth, we weaved our way through the traffic and slid into one of the lanes to pay. As we inched our way forward, we suddenly realized that there was no one in the booth. In the midst of the traffic lines, we had chosen the wrong lane – the one where people with prepaid cards were able to slip through quickly.
Since we only had cash, there was nothing we could do but drive on through and hope for the best. Time passed and soon after returning home we received an official letter from the state of Illinois. Dad groaned as he slit the seal and pulled out notice of a fine in the amount of $64. Bummer!
A split-second wrong decision cost us at least ten times what the original payment would have been. If we had been prepared as we approached the exit, we could have chosen our lane more carefully and avoided a big penalty.
Temptation is something that we all face on a regular basis. God tells us that we should flee from youthful lusts and instead pursue righteous, faith, love, and peace. But sometimes temptations come up on us quickly. If we are not prepared it is easy to make a split second decision that can end badly.
That is why it is important to plan ahead. Think about the things that are regular problem areas for you and decide how you will handle yourself as an opportunity to sin presents itself.
If you continually find yourself drawn to inappropriate pictures or websites on the computer, put safeguards on it or have an accountability partner to help keep your eyes pure.
If you struggle with foolish talk or unwholesome language, prepare a plan for extricating yourself from situations that might lead to these types of meaningless conversations or quarrels.
Think about what you will do if you find yourself in a compromising situation with the opposite sex. Before the fires of passion take over, have a plan to make a fast exit and save yourself many tears and much pain.
Consider the consequences of your sin beforehand so that when faced with your weak area, your split-second decision will be guided by wisdom instead of instinct.
If you take the time to plan out your response to difficult situations ahead of time, the chances of making a painful split second decision is less likely. You will be thankful you were ready to make good and godly choices that do not lead to regret.
I can tell you one thing – the next time we go to see Aunt Catherine and Uncle Jesse, we are going to plan ahead. On approaching the toll booth we will drive more slowly, read the signs, and make sure we get in the right lane. That way we won’t have to pay the price of a quick, split-second decision.