This is something we hear time and time again about things we like that are not good for us. Some of these things could include, sugar, tobacco, alcohol and for some people, hard drugs or similar chemical (I know this is an extreme example but hey! Welcome to real life!).
When loved ones see us treading a path that is dangerous, that is when you start hearing, “are you sure about that?” “is that wise?“, “should you be eating that?”, “you need to get help“.
For a lot of my life, I have been a safe player. I do not tend to get involved with things that will get me in trouble. As Nigerians say, “I do not like wahala”. I obey every rule, I flee from things that even smell partially dodgy. I am of the group of people that, should I decide to rebel, I will get into a load of trouble the minute I decide to do something that is off. I ALWAYS get caught. You ever had a friend who was good all the time and the one time they do something bad, they get caught and punished disproportionately? Yep, I am that friend. I learnt very early that should I decide to be ‘bad’, I will pay a very large price. So I don’t engage. I take no risks – just in case. This rule has been applied to most things in my life. However, when it comes to sugar, I take ALL the risks – lol! #Godhelpme
I used to babysit a lot at one stage in my life and noticed that the children I babysat loved everything that would harm them. Even when you told them, no, they would still try and mess with that dangerous object you are trying to protect them from. I have always wondered why babies and small children do not listen but quickly realized that that issue was not just for babies and small children but it really is a human problem. There is something about the word “No” that excites and pulls us in, as human beings. We always want what we cannot have. We know it is dangerous yet, all we hear is white noise and hell yes when we want something that is bad for us. We do not care about consequences, we only want what we want, when we want it – despite the danger.
Let us look at Samson from the Bible (Judges 13-16) as an example. Samson must have been a babe – I think he must have looked like a dark haired Thor with dark eyes that declare knowledge of what you did last summer..if you know what I mean…lol! He could have probably had his pick from any group of women in that country – I believe he was that much of a catch. Yet, he chose the one woman who was no good for him – he chose her despite God saying no. He pursued her, he stayed with her even after she tried to kill him several times because hey, all that mattered was that he wanted her. Full stop. That in his mind was enough reason to give his life away to her. Sadly, he eventually did end up paying with his life because he wanted what he wanted. He liked her. Every possible red flag was waving and he dismissed them all as if he was blind…did he not become blind at one point?! I think he even died blind.
A lot of people read that story and believe that Samson was very foolish. They wonder how he could be so easily persuaded and I am part of that group of people because, are we not all Samson when it comes to some things in our life? The people we fight for, the substances we are addicted to, even the job that is killing us but will not leave alone because we like telling people that that is what we do. What is the difference between us and Samson when it comes to the things we like that is simply put, not good for us?
Even the people God has clearly said no to, we cling to because we cannot see anyone else or we think we love them – despite the fact that they make us feel bad or have a negative influence over us. Why do we always run after the things that will harm us? The truth is, I do not know. I could argue that it may be the sin nature in us that craves death and so we like things that pull us closer to death. I could also argue that doing the will of God is hard, so we rather commit to our will, which seems easier but in the long run will ruin us (think of the example of exercise – it is good for us but most people would rather Netflix and chill). I do not have the exact answers and will not claim to. Feel free to send me your own theories, you may well have the answers. I can only speculate.
I do not know what it is in your life that you have no business with as you read this but this may be the encouragement you need to drop it and run. This may just be the confirmation you need that assures you of the fact that you are not crazy. Yes, that thing/person is not good for you. It is not in your head. Run! Run like David! Run like Forest! Run for your dear, dear life!
It is important to point out that this does not always mean that this thing is intrinsically bad. No. It may well be a good thing by itself but it is bad for you. One example, I like to use are Strawberries. Strawberries are wonderful by themselves. Healthy, refreshing, enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with the fruit by itself but to the person with an allergy to strawberries, it could kill them. Simplistic? Of course, it is. Now, the person with an allergy may argue that they have medication, just in case. They may also argue that strawberries are great, fragrant, attractive and wonderful with many health benefits but it does not change the fact that it will still harm them if they so much as touch it. If you had spoken to Samson, he may have also said that Delilah was harmless. She was only curious or she was only being cheeky – he may have beaten his chest and said, “she meant no harm” or even, “that is just Dely being Dely” (I imagine – hehe) – after her second murder attempt.
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial – 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)
It would be amazing if we gravitated towards only the things and people that are good for us. That would be the ideal world but as we all know, we do not live in an ideal world. What we like, is not always good for us and so we have to ensure that the decisions we make about everything in our life is in line with what God wants for us. We cannot always trust ourselves because let’s be honest, the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9 – NLT) but we can trust God and His guidance and plans for our lives!* Which we know are always good.
The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving – Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
*Disclaimer – I did not say that obeying and following God’s plan for our lives would be easy. I said, “we can trust God“.
In trusting God and the direction and plan He has for us, we are able to be kept safe. Like a Shepherd with his staff around the sheep’s neck guiding it away from danger, so is God’s voice and instructions, keeping us away from harm and danger – despite how appetizing that shrub with poison looks to the sheep.
Be encouraged! It is good news. If we listen and submit our will to His, it will end in praise without unnecessary suffering. If we don’t, God will still make it work out for our good (Romans 8:28) but at what cost? Ultimately, we decide. God always leaves the choice to us. As I type, I am speaking to myself as much as I am speaking to you. Will you let that thing go? Will you let that person go? Will you drop the idol and embrace all that God has for you? Knowing that even though you like it so much, it is not good for you…
I will leave that with you!
Love and Blessings,