The Theology of Success Part 4- Making Independent Moral Choices
He was a North Texas State running back from Dallas and he was good. Real good. Drafted by the pros good. He was about to graduate after a record setting career at NT, take his young wife and head to the pros. A dream come true. Young, in love, a graduate, a star, and newly rich, headed for a life of fame. But he never got to enjoy the fruits of success. Because he was killed.
A friend of his talked him into accompanying him to a Dallas bar. When you go to a bar you go to drink, hit on women, and try to stay out of fights with other drinking uninhibited males. No one should ever go to a bar. For certain no married man. Nothing good can come from it. But he was pressured. So he walked by the warning sign of common sense and went. His friend got drunk and got into a fight. Some guys jumped in then the running back jumped in. Football players do well in street fights and so did he. The problem is that other guys getting bested in street fights look for equalizers like guns and knives. The latter came out and the future pro lay dead with a knife to his liver.
Someone else married his wife and someone else became a father to his soon to be born son. A bad decision cost him all.
He was talented and strong but he could not make an independent moral decision in the face of peer pressure. He was influenced by a fool instead of moral truth.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise; But the companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
It is not just knowing what is true but doing what is true and doing it in the face of opposing voices. It is called moral courage. It means doing what is true when one must stand alone in doing it. It is the noble stuff of heroes.
It is the stuff of Daniel who would not eat the king’s choice food.
- of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who would not bow to the image.
- of Paul who if he “still desired the favor of men would not be the bondservant of Christ,” and counted all things as loss that he might gain Christ.
- of Elijah who prayed, “I alone am left.”
- of David who would preserve Saul’s life though all his men called for Saul’s death.
- of Jeremiah who prayed, “Because of Thy hand upon me I sat alone.”
- of Martin Luther, “Here I stand.”
If a man will not make up his mind Who to obey, the world will make it up for him and he will go from a bold standard to the human debris which floats downstream amidst all that is dead.
“How long will you hop between two forks? If the Lord is God serve Him…” Elijah
“Choose this day whom you will serve…” Joshua
A truly successful person must cancel out the clatter of moral white noise and listen solely to the Master’s voice.