How Not To Change
by David J. Stewart
"LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." —Psalm 15:1-5
God is telling us how NOT to change. Truthfully, most people (Christians included) could care less about not changing. The average Christian in America is all over the road spiritually. Most Christians are no better about changing that Billy Graham, Mr. Chameleon himself (The chameleon lizard changes it's colors to blend in with it's surroundings). Why should we try to avoid change? Isn't change good sometimes? Of course, but it depends on what you mean by the word "change." As my pastor, Dr. Jack Hyles, used to say..."It's ok to move to the right, but never to the left." It's ok to change to being a better Christian, but never towards being more worldly or away from God. The following guidelines from God tell us how to avoid moving towards the left:He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
- Be an honest person of integrity! Live an upright life, avoiding the appearances of evil. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. There should be something in every Christian's heart that makes us want to live for God and do right. Interestingly, God tells us to speak the truth in our own heart. You'd think that if there was one person in the world with whom we would be truthful, it would be our self. Ironically, people often willingly believe a lie to avoid responsibility or to condone their own wickedness. What does it mean to "work righteousness?" It simply means to do right, though the stars fall...DO RIGHT! If you don't want to change, then make your decisions based upon right and wrong, and NEVER upon convenience or circumstances.
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD.
- Oh my, how people love to gossip! Christian people are as bad as the heathen when it comes to keeping their mouths shut. Christian people are especially prone to tear each other down. This is simply because most believers are carnal, and carnal believers are worse than the heathen because their sinning in lieu of the truth. Who is my neighbour? Every person on the planet earth is my neighbour. What George W. Bush and his accomplices did to the people of Iraq is wicked. We did evil to our neighbours, based upon a bunch of fabricated lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction." The only Weapon of Mass Destruction I see is President George W. Bush. Keep your slimy gossiping tongue in your face! Shut up!
He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
- We should look down with disdain upon sin, not people. We should honor the goodness of those who serve the Lord, but again...don't elevate the person above their sinful human status. The greatest man of God alive is still a dirty rotten sinner. Christian people sometimes make the mistake of idolizing a man and then running for the hills when they find out he's just a sinner. Don't quit on God because man fails you. As Christians, we should loath the wickedness which is destroying America. If you'd turn off that TV for a couple months and live in the Word of God, you'd start once again realizing just how wicked our society has become. God needs us to live righteously.
He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.
- This is what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said to king Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel three. They said to the heathen king...We will not bow down to your golden image O king! They proclaimed that their God would deliver them, BUT IF NOT. I always loved that little disclaimer...but if not. Those three young lads had no idea what was going to happen, but they were going to do what they knew was right even if it meant their deaths in the fiery furnace. I just don't know too many believers nowadays who care that much about doing right. I'll tell you what, they'll have to fight me 'til the death before I'll ever allow the U.S. Government to implant a microchip into my body. I'll live on the street if I have to but they WON'T microchip me. My body is the temple of God's Holy Spirit, just as is EVERY born-again believer.
- Don't lend out your money to make money. What God is saying here is that the very desire to make extra money is dangerous. I didn't say sinful. It's not a sin because you want to make more money for good purposes. However, the desire to make more money is one of the most deadly deceits under the sun. Greed is the #1 killer in the world, it surpasses all known killers. If you desire to make money, YOU WILL CHANGE, YOU WILL COMPROMISE...it's just a matter of time. Your goal should not be to make money, but to help people. If you want to help people, then you will make more money in an honest business that doesn't take advantage of people. Credit card companies take advantage of people. They are so ruthless that they even bombard their debtors with dozens of free checks, just hoping that you'll delve deeper and deeper into the abyss of financial debt...to their handsome gain of course. It is a great evil. Psalm 62:10 warns us never to set our hearts upon money...NEVER.
I will close this article by repeating the five great personal decisions made by my Pastor, Dr. Jack Hyles, when he was young preacher:
- I will always make my decisions based upon right and wrong, not upon expediency or convenience.
- I will always be loyal to principles and truth, not to institutions or organizations.
- Money will NEVER be an issue.
- I will never let anyone mess with my preaching.
- I will always be a friend to my friends.
For Such A Time As This