Location, location, location.
When it comes to real estate or business, location is everything.
I once consulted with a congregation that was located in a 90% Hispanic neighborhood. Nothing wrong with that. Except this was a Korean congregation. There were virtually no Koreans living within a five mile radius. In order for Koreans to come to this particular Korean church, they would drive past dozens of other Korean churches.
Location matters. I suggested that the congregation has two realistic options for its future: sell the property and move to where Koreans are, or start ministering to Hispanics.
But I think location matters also in the arena of sin.
When I think about the times I’ve gotten myself into trouble, location absolutely mattered. You see, if I were where I was supposed to be I wouldn’t even had the opportunity to be tempted by sin and commit sin. Only if I were where I should have been, I would have avoided much heartache.
So, where are you?
“What does your heart tell you?”
“Follow your heart.”
Sounds right. It makes for great movies and stories. The main character pursuing what they know to be right, but their heart being tugged in a different direction…and in the critical moment, they choose to follow after their heart…and everything ends up happy ever after.
Yeah. That happens in the movies. That rarely happens in real life.
The problem with the heart is that the heart is wrong more often than not. At one time the heart thought Lisa was the one…then it thought Jane was the one…then at another time, the heart was sure Jenny was the one…The heart lies. The heart has no clue.
The heart has no boundaries. The heart has no concern for morals. The heart doesn’t have any other loyalty other than getting its desires met NOW!
Thing is, people have followed after their hearts and left their spouse and children, leaving devastation in its wake. Why? Because it felt so right. I was just following my heart.
People have followed their hearts and ignored all the warning signs, all the statistics, all reason that clearly showed it couldn’t possibly work out and find themselves in impossible and violent relationships.
The heart can’t be trusted.
So what do you do?
Do what’s good and right.
Things are good and right because…they are.
So please…for your sake…whatever you do…do not follow your heart. Do what’s right and good.
One of the oddest parables of Jesus is the Parable of the Persistent Widow found in Luke 18:1-8.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow who kept coming to him with the plea,’Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even thought I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!'”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
It is an absurd parable…a widow who goes to someone who doesn’t care, someone who is unjust, someone who doesn’t give a rip to pesters him day and night. It makes no sense. It’s crazy. It’s nonsense.
Which is crazier?
A widow who goes to an unjust judge? Or Christians who have been promised a God who infinitely cares and a God who loves to answer prayers, and they don’t?