Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

God or the world? Choosing integrity over compromise

Last year God started calling me more and more into YWAM Communications, much to my delight as writing is one of my favorite things.

But this new calling came with a warning...I strongly felt God saying, "No compromises, no must be blameless in all areas of communication and have the highest integrity."

And then the Holy Spirit started convicting me of the areas where I HAD taken short-cuts, or compromised....

the pirated DVDs we bought here in Arua (you can't buy original dvds here so I convinced myself this was acceptable)

the free copy of Adobe Photoshop someone had downloaded onto my computer (my other free copy of Photoshop that I had received legitimately through YWAM as a communicator had seized up and I couldn't get it to work anymore, so again, I convinced myself that this other one was just a replacement)

the movies on my computer copied from a friends.

God said something like, "I don't care if that's all that's available, I don't care if it's easier and cheaper, I don't care how you justify it...don't go there."

And I knew in that deep place where you JUST KNOW that my integrity in this area would have a direct effect on my impact in communications. Someone said, "You can't take any ground from the enemy if the enemy has ground in you."

So I determined that I would not give the enemy any ground. I deleted everything on my computer that I hadn't paid for or been given legitimately. I threw away my pirated dvds. I said, 'No thanks' to the offer of someone to give me many copies of different movies and nature dvds.

I told God I'd rather be without all of those things and be close to Him, than to have those useless things of the world and forfeit my walk with Christ.

Since then I've come up against the temptation over and over and over, and most of it's been from other Christians. I'm surprised at how many Christians think it's ok to copy programs, music, movies, etc from friends. My challenge in it all is I don't have a good handle on the legal side of it all...when IS it ok, and when is it definitely NOT?

So just recently I faced this dilemma again...I started a Beth Moore bible study with a friend, having brought back the workbooks with me from the States last year. Quickly we realized that this particular study was very session-led...meaning we really needed at least the audio cds to be able to get the most out of the study.

It just so happens that another friend had done the study last year and had the audio cds downloaded from iTunes on her computer. She offered to copy them to cd, lend them to us, and then we give them back. It sounded ok...after all, there's no rule against borrowing movies or music from friends and returning them, as long as you don't copy least that's what we all thought.

But I had no peace about it. And the first week of the study, Beth Moore was talking about integrity, and how critical it is, and it reminded me of this whole issue and I thought, "I HAVE to know whether it's ok to borrow those cds, because if not, I'm gonna have problems."

I searched on-line, I asked people I thought might know...everyone said the same thing: as long as you don't copy them, it should be fine to just borrow, listen and return.

But I still didn't have peace.

I finally emailed LifeWay (who produce Beth Moore's books and studies) and asked them about it. They said, "unfortunately, the cds are meant for individual use."

So, there you have it. It may sound too strict, it may sound controlling, but that's what they said.

I am now in the process of trying to download the study sessions with a PAINFULLY slow internet connection (it took me six hours to get one session yesterday). But I'd rather be patient now and do it right, then take that tempting short-cut and seriously regret it later.

God knows why He puts limits on us and boundaries around us...we may not all have the same limits and boundaries, but if we know what ours are, we better stick to them.

I want to be holy because God is holy, and I believe He enables us to walk in righteousness even if the road is narrow and seriously bushy because few others pass that way. But I'd rather get my arms and face scratched up pushing my way through the overgrowth, then be swept along with the masses on the highway of compromise.

I'm not trying to exalt myself here...I know the wickedness of my heart. I'm just sharing my particular challenge of following Jesus, and hoping to encourage any of you in a similar position. If you feel you are alone in your convictions, know that there's at least One other with you, and He is worth it.

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