What are you principles worth? Are your values just hot air that disappear when someone comes to try blow them away? Is your stand only as strong as the sand it is sinking into? What is your price?
For the last week I have been bombarded with these questions from various sources.
At church we learned about Satan; how like the king of Sodom and like the Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he offers us seeming abundance for nothing and a never ending stream of get-out clauses to an easier life.
"Take the bribe and you'll get respect from the right crowd."
"Just tell that white lie. No one will get hurt."
"Take a pill and satisfy your lust."
"Cheat and make your parents proud."
Yet, always behind those empty promises is a trap of deceit and guilt:
"No one will know."
For someone who likes words, I find it extremely hard to word what it means to me for us, as Malaysians, and even more so, as Malaysian-Christians, to make a firm stand for love than resounds unceasingly, for truth that is real, for a heart that is righteous. Does it ache for you when there is within, a piercing conviction that all is not right and that something must be done yet nothing is followed through?
We know all too well our social and political backdrop and we must be aware that for every nasty incident that gets smeared on the front page, there are twice as many people more crooked in the background. I just wonder how many people are willing to say no to the forces at work, out to destroy the delicate fabric and weak threads of solidarity.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
We must not be swayed by political slander. We must not be dragged into the debate of minor issues as an excuse to avoid major ones. We must not push selfish agendas at the expense of others not because what goes around comes around, but because we are to live in fear and trembling of a holy God who looks beyond appearances of grandeur, flawed legislation and even stunted morals. We are to live before our God despite ridicule and unfounded pity, not just in our private lives but in every aspect and at every moment of our public lives.
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might... (2 Samuel 6:14)
Why is the human stain so apparent and yet no one wants to notice its crippling effects because people just assume it is a condition that cannot be cured. Some even revel in it.
"That's just the way things are."
Sometimes it's hard to be coherent when there is much to say.
On a personal level, I have had to place a number on my worth recently but some things are just not negotiable. It has not been without cost to myself but I have come away a wiser, more shrewd and more discerning person. And most importantly, I have not compromised my stand.