Stay Alert

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One big reason why we fall into sin? We’re complacent.

We’re not alert. We’re sleeping at the wheel. We think evil is docile, cute, and cuddly. We pet it, for crying out loud. Like Pieter, we invite it to “come to daddy” and call it “lovely.” And we say in jest, “If you bite me, I’ll bite you.”

To be alert means to open your spiritual eyes. If you sense being tempted to pride, or greed, or lust—wake up. It’s so easy to be lulled into complacency. 

A young man wrote to me about a tragic story. He said that when he was much younger, he started stealing P20 and P50 bills from his father’s wallet. 

“This isn’t stealing because it’s just loose change,” he told himself. “And it’s so small, Dad won’t even notice.” 

Soon, the P50 became P100, and the P100 became P500, and the P500 became P1,000. When he grew up, he worked in a company where he started dipping into the office petty cash fund. Three years later, his manager caught him, and he was sued for stealing P1.4 million.

Warning: Sin starts small. Evil will not ask you to steal P1.4 million. Evil will ask you to steal P20. 

Open your spiritual eyes. Are you being tempted in any way about something insignificant?

This is why I urge everyone to practice the Daily Examen. It’s spending five to fifteen minutes once or twice a day with God, perhaps before lunch and before you sleep, not just for an “examination of conscience” (Did I disobey God?) but with an “examination of consciousness” (What is God doing in my life today? Am I cooperating with His Spirit?). 

The Daily Examen is a spiritual CT scan where you pray this beautiful prayer from the Psalms: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24, emphasis mine). 

Learn from Churchill

Before World War II, when Hitler was growing in power, assembling his massive army, annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia, and violating the agreements made in the Treaty of Versailles, it’s remarkable how the allied powers—the United Kingdom, the United States, and France—turned a blind eye. Reason: many of their politicians believed that they could negotiate peace treaties with Hitler and avoid war. 

Except for one man: Winston Churchill. From day one—when Hitler started to spew out his radical Nazi rhetoric—Churchill said, “You cannot negotiate with Hitler. If you open your door even an inch, he’ll kick it open.” But Churchill could only do so much because at the time, he was just a member of the Parliament, not the prime minister of the United Kingdom. 

And no one listened to him. So all sorts of peace treaties were made with Hitler—between the U.S., France, Soviet Union, and Germany. 

But the treaties didn’t last. In a matter of months, Hitler broke every single one of those agreements. With stealth and surprise, he attacked Poland, Soviet Union, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Churchill was right. From the very beginning, he warned them about Hitler. And this is why the British 

Parliament voted for him as its prime minister. 

Churchill led the war against Nazi Germany, and with the help of the Allied powers, they won.

Here’s a powerful lesson: you can’t negotiate with evil.

You can’t have a peace treaty with pride, greed, lust, selfishness, dishonesty, envy, jealousy, and ungratefulness.

Don’t give sin an inch. Don’t open the door to sin no matter how small, because evil will kick it wide open. 

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