All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
–1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Lot chose to settle in the fertile Jordan Valley–right next to the city of Sodom–without consulting God. But he also neglected to consider his family when he decided to pitch his tents close to Sodom. What was life like in Sodom? Genesis 13:13 says, “The men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord.” Sodom was a place of unbelievable immorality, yet Lot settled there anyway. He was like the proverbial moth who tried to fly as close to the flame as possible and ended up being destroyed.
God’s wisdom says you do not live as close to the edge of sin as possible; you flee from sin as far as possible. In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul wrote, “Flee from youthful lusts.” Lot underestimated the power of sin to lure him in.
He also overestimated the spiritual strength of his family. Never once did Lot ask himself, “How will this move affect my wife and daughters? Even if I am able to handle living this close to wickedness, what will it do to my family?” In 2 Peter 2:7-8, we find that Lot, being a righteous person, was distressed by the wickedness of Sodom. But his family was not distressed by it. His daughters ended up marrying wicked men who were residents of Sodom. His wife, because of her unbelief, was destroyed. He lost his family because he never once considered how this decision was going to affect them.
If you are trying to make a decision, ask yourself, “Even though I might be able to handle this, how might it affect my family? How will this move affect my family? How will this TV program affect my family?”
Let’s take the issue of alcohol. There is nothing in the Bible that says if you take a drink, you are going to hell. But just because you are able to handle alcohol and drink it in moderation, what about your children and grandchildren? How do you know they are not going to be some of those people who have a genetic tendency toward alcoholism? The Bible says very clearly in 1 Corinthians 10 that my freedom in Christ, whatever it is, ends when it hurts another believer. That is not legalism; that is maturity. Lot made the mistake of never once thinking about how his freedom would affect his family, and as a result, he lost his family.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Prodigal Nephew” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org