To my knowledge, no-one who experiences moral failure set out to end up there. No-one gets up in the morning and declares that it looks like a good day to fail. Failure is not a goal; it is a consequence of choices made along the way. So how can we avoid moral failure? I think these six principles will help:
- Set a relational hierarchy. It is important to understand relational priorities. Jesus tells us that the two great commands are to love God and then to love our neighbor. From this, we know that the relationship with God is first priority. After God comes spouse, children, parents, etc. Understand your priorities and adjust your activities and time spent accordingly. Confusion with regard to relational priorities can open doors that should never be opened.
- Do not compromise. Set your standards and stick to them.
- Be more concerned about living rightly than being liked. Peer pressure does not end when formal education ends. Friends and coworkers can pressure you to compromise on your values in order to fit in. This can be particularly problematic in work environments when a lack of conformance might cause you to be viewed as not being a “team player.”
- Live in the truth. Don’t do anything or go anywhere that you would be embarrassed to have you spouse, children, parents, church family or pastor hear about. Don’t do anything that you would be prompted to lie about if confronted.
- Set your boundaries and do not cross them. If the goal is to avoid lust, shows or pictures that some would find acceptable may not be acceptable to you. Jesus said that it would be better to gouge out your eyes than participate in lust. So set a boundary at the point where lust is not a problem and do not cross over it. If you need help in staying within the boundary ask for it.
- Focus on ending well. Life is not a sprint, it is an endurance race. The analogy is no less true because it is over used. The secret to finishing strong is to keep moving toward the goal.
Do you have any that you would like to add? Please add them to the comments below.