The Test

the-testMany people are willing to compromise with evil, measuring success by the greater and the lesser of evil. As Christians, they suggest we must accept evil to stop a worse evil.

This past summer in Kenya, a brother in Christ confessed to me that he had bribed a police officer to avoid a traffic fine. In Kenya, a traffic stop is handled much differently than in the US. In the US, you get stopped for a traffic infraction, receive a ticket, and at a later date either pay a small fine or go to court and have the fine removed.

In Kenya, a traffic stop generally involves the driver, his passengers, and his vehicle being “arrested” and jailed until the enormous fine is paid. Bribery is common to avoid this hassle. The culture of corruption, which Kenyans despise, is only fed by compromise with the evil of bribery.

My friend knew he’d done wrong. He’d broken the law of man and violated the will of his Lord. He waited a year to tell me that his conscience was pricked and that in the future he would do what was right and godly. He wouldn’t again feed government corruption just because it’s easy or everyone else does it.

The Old Testament patriarch Abraham faced a financial calamity. In God’s test, Abraham compromised by leaving the land God had given him and travelled to Egypt. In Egypt, he fearfully compromised further by lying about the identity of his wife (Genesis 12:9-15). The result was God’s eventual judgment of 400 years of slavery in Egypt for the nation of Israel (Genesis 15:13).

In every test we are often extremely short-sighted, not considering that God has a purpose greater than what we may know. Maybe an election isn’t about who occupies the White House or a seat in Parliament, but whether God’s people vote for what is godly. Perhaps it’s not about how much money we make but if we trust the Lord with what we have and that He is the provider in every situation. The test is always one of godliness and obedience to truth.

Our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God … (Second Corinthians 1:12).


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