Guardrails (Day 1)

It was probably the weirdest conversation I’d ever had. It was super serious with life altering consequences but I couldn’t help but laugh because it seemed so out of the ordinary. I was riding in a car with one of my lifelong friends that I had not hung out with in almost a year. We were going to grab some dinner and catch up with how life was going for each of us. Then he dropped a conversational bomb on me when he cracked a small smile and said, “I’ve been cheating on my wife”

Needless to say, I really thought he was joking. It seemed like such an absurd thing for him to say! But as he went into the story I realized really quickly that he was not trying to make me laugh. He had gotten into a side relationship with one of his coworkers and now his marriage was in danger. And the worst part was the lives of his two children were about to be torn apart. Clearly I was no longer laughing.

As he went on he explained that of course he never meant for it to happen. Who does, right? But as he spent time with this other woman he realized how differently she treated him from his own wife and how the chemistry was there that was lacking in his own marriage. The more time he spent with her the less time he wanted to spend with his own wife and when they moved to the physical level it just spiraled out of control. He was lost and didn’t know how to find his way out.

I wish the story had a happy ending. Not many of these situations do, sadly. His family was broken and now his children have to go between spending time with mom and dad and tradeoff which parent gets who on the holidays. It breaks my heart just to think about the hurt, pain, anger, and confusion that those beautiful children had to go through because of a chain of events that could have easily been avoided.

I’m sure you know someone who has been in a similar situation. Who knows, maybe you’ve been in that situation. The honest truth is that many times in life we find ourselves in situations we never wanted to be in but a series of small decisions added up to one big problem. Maybe instead of a divorce you have a health problem? Perhaps your finances are out of control and you are up to your eyes in debt? Whatever the problem it was surely something that you did not plan on happening because almost one hundred percent of the time we never do.

This week we are going to be looking at the familiar life events of King David. David’s life was a fairy tale that turned out to be a nightmare for many people in his family. He was the hero of Israel who killed the giant Goliath and united Israel into one nation again. But his personal life slowly spun out of control due to a series of small decisions he made that led to one big problem.

For the sake of time today we will start with just a few verses. Take some time to read 2 Samuel 11 verses 1-5. You’ll see there that David turned his focus away from serving the people of Israel and began to serve himself. He became so focused on his own desires that he was willing to let his armies fight without him, spend his time in leisure, and then take the wife of another man to gratify his physical desires. This is obviously not the things a godly king would do.

Where does this hit home for you today? Has your focus shifted away from serving God and others to serving yourself? Have you found yourself in a life problem that you created by making small compromises here and there? The good news is that every day is a chance to turn things around. As you walk away from this time of devotion I want to encourage you to begin with being honest with yourself about your situation. Then ask God to show you ways to get yourself out. It may be a hard path, but you’ll never reach the destination until you take the first step. Let’s get started today!

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