Romans 16:17, ” . . . Be on your guard concerning those who create dissentions and difficulties and cause divisions, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught.”
Cornell University research found that we internalize at least 35,000 daily decisions that are solely based on our preferences. Our actions are often based on what we value. (In the Greek, that translates to which choices appear “best for us!”) But what if our values, core beliefs, and judgments aren’t aligned with the compass of trustworthy, biblical truth?
John MacArthur states, “Grace does not grant permission to live in the flesh; it supplies power to live in the Spirit.” How often are our preferences comfort/certainty over generosity/sacrifice?
Contrast might make photography interesting, but it might also serve as a point for missional opportunity. The contrast of Christ in us throughout our day-to-day preferences often falls into two categories: declared or revealed. One preaches.
Think of these contrasts as milestones or roadblocks. We get to choose! Our preferences in dealing with those hindrances showcase how we frame authority. What is the foundation on which your personal investments are secured? You see, “authority” is not a four-letter word (neither numerically nor in connotation).
Divine order should always trump our biases, prejudices, and short-sightedness as human beings. Sadly, age doesn’t protect us from being foolish, impatient, or self-centered. Always erring on the side of generosity tends to be a more trusted stock and not a tragedy you need to clean up later.
They say there are two reasons it’s hard to solve a redneck crime: All the DNA matches and there are no dental records! As image bearers of Christ, how will our reflections in the mirror ever become polished if we always choose an irritated and sarcastic posture with the day-to-day rubs of life? Whether in a family, at work, or operating on a team, we have all experienced mere preferences becoming default solutions to complex problems.
Dr. Seuss tells us, “Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” Legacy simplifies things a bit, huh? Recall those who have inspired you, made you want to grow in the Lord, or served as His hands and feet in your life experiences. It’s probable that their preferences included more than short-term convenience on their part.
Personal preference that is not secured in the foundational cement of biblical truth is nothing more than spiritual amnesia. It crumbles, disappoints, fades and deceives.
Oswald Chambers puts it very succinctly: “Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.” Let’s upgrade our personal preferences to divine authority and choose to clothe ourselves in the beauty of surrender to His craftsmanship.