DayBreaks for 7/08/15: The Heat Is On
Brett Blair shares the following story told by Lloyd J. Ogilve, in his book Life without Limits, a story of a pastor who in the space of one week heard the following comments from various people:
A woman said, “I’m under tremendous pressure from my son these days. I can’t seem to satisfy him, however hard I work. He really puts me under pressure.”
A young man said, “My parents have fantastic goals for me to take over the family business. It’s not what I want to do, but their pressure is unbearable.”
A college woman said, “I’m being pressured by my boyfriend to live with him before we are married. You know…sort of try it out…to see if we are right for each other.”
A husband said, “My wife is never satisfied. Whatever I do, however much I make, it’s never enough. Life with her is like living in a pressure cooker with the lid fastened down and the heat on high.”
A secretary said, pointing to her phone, “That little black thing is driving me silly. At the other end of the line are people who make impossible demands and think they are the only people alive.”
A middle-aged wife said, “My husband thinks my faith is silly. When I feel his resistance to Christ, I wonder if I’m wrong and confused. As a result, I’ve developed two lives; one with him and one when I’m with my Christian friends.”
An elderly woman said, “My sister thinks she has all the answers about the faith and tries to convince me of her point of view. I feel pressured to become her brand of Christian, but I keep thinking if it means being like her, I don’t want it at all. When she calls, I just put the phone on my shoulder and let her rant on while I do other things. A half-hour later, she’s still on the line blasting away, but I still feel pressure.”
A young pastor at a clergy conference said, “I hardly know who I am any more. There are so many points of view in my congregation, I can’t please them all. Everyone wants to capture me for his camp and get me to shape the church around his convictions. The pressure makes me want to leave the ministry.”
All of these persons have one thing in common. They are being pressured by other people. We all, at one time or another, experience people-pressure.
That is the question Herod faced in Mark chapter 6. After making an oath to a pretty young girl that she could have up to half of his kingdom, she surprised him and asked for the head of the Baptist. Mark 6:26 reveals that the King was thrown into distress, he knew it was wrong, but because of his oath and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. He sent the executioner and on a platter was delivered the head of a holy man.
The question today is: how will you deal with the pressure today? How will you let it affect your judgement and decisions?
PRAYER: Lord, I know that today we will all come under varying degrees of pressure – pressures to compromise and take the easy way out rather than doing what we deep down inside know is right. Help us be strong through Your Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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