Sermon Illustrations

“Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.” - Doug Larson

The house looked like a fairy tale come true. Though my friend had a nagging feeling about the owners, she ignored it and went to inspect the house. It was spacious and full of sunshine with a big tree in the front yard. She wanted it more than she had wanted anything in a very long time and she immediately made a deal to get it for a good price.

The nagging feeling continued, but the woman pushed aside her doubts and began moving in. Within a short time, she realized in horror she had made a terrible mistake. Several things in the house not only did not work, but, after many visits from various repair companies, she learned they could not be fixed. The owners had promised everything was in working order; surely they wouldn’t lie to her, would they? As time went on, she realized the owners had known about the problems, and had indeed lied to her.

It is always good to have a dream or a goal, but how often in work situations or in business dealings do we run past the red warning flags that something is amiss? How often do we plow blindly past them in pursuit of what we so desire, wanting the fairytale so much that we are willing to lay our integrity on the altar of our dreams to get what we want? How often do we sacrifice our character as our consciences scream “No!” in pursuit of our dream or goal? How often do we fix our eyes on the prize and ignore the red flags of what it will cost us to get there?

Looking back later, the woman realized all the red flags had been there warning that the people she was doing business with were not people of integrity. The wise thing to do would have been to walk away when the doubts came. Too many of her questions had been brushed aside, too many concerns treated as unimportant. But she wanted the house too badly, and she ignored every red flag that popped up in her pursuit in order to have it. She focused only on her goal. In the end, it turned out to be an expensive mistake.

Just as smoke warns us there is fire nearby and pain warns us there is illness in our bodies, the warning sign of a lack of integrity in others we are involved with is not something to be ignored. They are signs that if we ignore the warning, something worse will happen.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to live in a beautiful home, have the perfect relationship, win a promotion or become a person of wealth and privilege. Any time we want something so much we are willing to compromise who we are by involving ourselves with people of less integrity to reach our goal, something is

very wrong. That is the time we must stop and be honest with ourselves about the true cost of what we seek. Can we have our dream without trading our souls for it?

Can we have that relationship, get that job, make that big money deal or get what we want, without becoming someone else to have it?

If the answer is no, we need to change our course.

Otherwise, our course will end up changing us.

“Every time I’ve done something that doesn’t feel right, it’s ended up not being right.” - Mario Cuomo

Excerpted from Sidewalk Flowers, Vol. 1

Copyright © Glynda Lomax

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