If you think about it, King Solomon never started out to build pagan shrines.
It was his failure to deal with the tiny spiritual cracks in his heart that produced a life of compromise and dissatisfaction.
The backwash from Solomon’s life reminds us how we only kid ourselves when we think we can have a healthy walk with God and still keep our hidden life of compromise on the side.
The Misery of Living in Both Worlds
“No one can live without delight, and that is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures.” —Thomas Aquinas
Both the spiritual life and our secret life are miserable. That’s because God never created us to live that way.
God wants more for us than the incessant cycle of confession and failure. He wants us to live beyond the futility the world seeks.
I believe it is possible.
Leaving a Life of Compromise
How can we begin to fill the cracks of a divided heart?
- For starters, we must recognize what we really seek when we choose to compromise is more relational than physical. Even healthy relationships with a spouse, or with your family, or with close friends will never meet your needs. It takes more.
- It takes a deepening, deliberate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This means more than your salvation experience. It means making your relationship with the Living God—not just your Bible reading—the priority of your life.
- The transformation process God desires comes by choosing daily to offer our bodies as “a living and holy sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), by doggedly refusing to follow sin’s urgings (Romans 6:14), and by relying on God’s Spirit for strength (Romans 8:2, 6).
We can have the wisdom of Solomon and still have cracks in our hearts. Solomon’s life reveals that a sin tolerated becomes an idol embraced. If we do not seek God as the object of our ultimate delight, we will certainly substitute the pleasures of this world—and eventually sacrifice for them.
Solomon took a lifetime to discover this simple truth (Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:13).
God has called us to exchange the fleeting pleasure of little sins for something far better and more satisfying—Himself.
Question: What has helped you realize that trying to live in two worlds doesn’t give us the satisfaction we long for? Please leave a comment.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, “Unwise Cracks,” Insights (September 2005): 1-2. Copyright © 2005, Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.