“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-14).
Prevention is the best medicine. It certainly taste better than the flavor of guilt, embarrassment, and frustration that accompany sin.
I don’t know of any Christian who comes to the end of a bad decision and celebrates the outcome. A teenager who gets into a screaming fight with a parent doesn’t go to their room and think; “That was fun, I wonder what we can argue about tomorrow.” A husband addicted to porn doesn’t plot while deleting his browser history, “I think I can schedule another session next Tuesday.” And history could not count the number of addicts who come off a high vowing “Never again!”
But it’s all sure to be empty promises without a plan. So how can we protect ourselves from ourselves?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and accounting firm PwC have dramatically changed the way Oscars are handed out this year. The most memorable moment from the 2017 Oscars occurred when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for the Academy’s biggest prize.
As with real life, the live show allows for no second takes, re-shoots or do-overs. So the new rules add three layers of protection:
- Additional Accountability – a stage manager will now open and verify the card before passing it on to the announcer and another PwC worker will be responsible for memorizing all winners in order to immediately identify potential problems.
- Remove Distractions – after images surfaced on social media revealing that PwC staff were distracted while taking selfies with Hollywood A-listers, the firm decided that there would be no phones permitted behind stage.
- Rehearsals/Planning – all PwC employees at the Oscars will be part of a step by step rehearsal, including what will happen if something goes wrong.
The risk of major mishaps are a consistent part of live television. They are also a consistent part of life. In the Bible, major mishaps on a spiritual level are called sin. And like PwC, God has given us a comprehensive plan for prevention.
- Additional Accountability – Allow others into your personal space to check your attitudes and actions. Solomon discipled his son; “Two are better than one. . . For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
- Remove Distractions – Dispose of those things which draw your attention away from your God-given mission in life. James tells us that “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:14).
- Rehearsals/Planning – We know where our weak spots are; the times we are most likely to be tempted, the situations that occur just before we depart from God’s best. We should take this information and plan for success. Peter warns; “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
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