Our Tuesday evening Ladies Meeting was a bit different. Oh, we had our wonderful buffet of favorite dishes – enough to feed twice as many as attended. We created a group prayer list of those we know that could use our support and God’s mercy. We had a lesson, and though we have one each meeting, this one was a bit different.
Instead of a speaker or our pastor’s helpmeet, we listened to InTouch.Org’s Dr. Charles Stanley discuss Daniel’s makings of wise decisions. Scripture references he gave was Daniel, Jeremiah 5:4-18, Jeremiah 32:26-28. Yep, you read that right – the book of Daniel, not a simple reference from the book.
You see, to live by principles rather than preferences, one has to know the principles. To live by the Bible’s precepts, one has to know the Bible. I cannot give you all of Daniel’s story here, it is up to my readers to know, or to do the background. Daniel made his decisions based on principles of his trust in God and God’s word.
For Christians, our principles are moral rules based on the word of God guiding our conduct. Those rules are God given and are boiled down by Christ:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)
Doing anything else is living by our preferences – based on our likes, dislikes, pleasures, desires – without regard to moral rules. This is circumstantial or situational ethics, changing with society’s whims or cultural changes. Here there are no absolutes and the rules change with what feels good.
Oh, there is so much more we learned about choosing between principle and preference. And more of my notes will finding their way into this blog. Why? Living by principles takes place every single day. It’s a growth process, learning new things every single day, adding to the knowledge of how to become the image of Christ.
Trust me – we fail in so many ways, but we continue to admit our errors (and praise God as He forgives us!), look for examples and ways to do better and spend more time with God’s family. We will not achieve perfection here, so don’t hesitate to provide constructive criticism or ask questions about the journey.
I’m still growing.