On some of my morning runs I’m very tempted to quit early and to take a short cut home. However what stops me is that I know that if I take a short cut today then I’ll be even more tempted to do so again tomorrow, which will just mess up my exercise routine and ultimately affect my overall health and well-being.
Shortcuts may make us feel relieved initially, but as with most shortcuts the results will be far less than they should be if we stayed the course and our unchecked emotions and undisciplined thoughts will then frequently begin to dictate to us, rather than God’s Word, instruction and overall purpose for our lives being what leads us.
Shortcuts are not just about being lazy about our exercise, but also encompass the shortcuts we can take in our work, studies and relationships as well as the ethical, financial, moral and spiritual shortcuts and the other cutting of corners we can be tempted to take in every area of our lives.
Shortcuts are really about our character and what we are focused on. We can if not careful begin to think our way is better than God’s leading and begin to question why we need to put in all that extra effort when we can take the quick and easy route to get to where we want to go. When tempted with these thoughts we would be wise to first ask ourselves, “Am I looking ahead and keeping pace with God’s greater plan for my life or am I being short-sighted and looking for the easy rather than the best way for my life.”
God’s words in the bible have some wisdom regarding shortcuts and says,“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT)
Jesus said, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with sure-fire, easy-going formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention. (Matthew 7:13 The Message)
Next time you are tempted to take a shortcut first assess the wisdom in that decision; whether it is the best way rather the easiest route and if is going to lead you completely in the way God’s word instructs you to go? Because hasty shortcuts, where we rush into things can cause us to miss the mark and the abundant life God has planned for us. Better to do things God’s way, run our race well and receive the prize.
“Don’t you realise that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step? I am not shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)
Prayer: I’m choosing to run my race well today and to not take shortcuts. Lord please help me to have wisdom as I walk through my day and to recognise where I might be being tempted to make hasty decisions or to cut corners in my life. Instead I want to choose the best way and I ask for your strength to do that today. In Jesus name Amen.