Chutes and Ladders (Part 1)

As you can see by the title, we are going to discuss the classic children’s board game. Chutes and Ladders has many different variations but the concept is the same, as you move on the board if you land on a ladder you go up and if you land on a chute you do down. It’s a very simple concept!

I am a very competitive person, anyone who knows me, knows that to be true. I turn everything into a competition, I want to win at everything! Life is like a game. We are the pieces on the playing board of life. Every move we make in life has an outcome whether it’s good or bad, helpful or hurtful.

I saw a verse a few weeks ago that made me think about this game “Chutes and Ladders.”

“Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭26:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I want to talk about the last half of this verse today. “I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.”

In the Christian life, we can slide. In life in general, we can slide. Unless we trust in the Lord. I got to thinking about slides and thought of a few points that would illustrate our sliding away from God.

One of the best things about any playground is the slide. Slides are fun! I love y’all slides that go really fast! I remember a place in Colorado called the “North Pole.” It was like a children’s amusement park that was Christmas themed. There they had like a three-story slide that you had to go down on a potato sack! It was so much fun!

Even though slides are fun, no matter the shape or size, they all have somethings in common that we can learn from. It’s good to learn spiritual lessons from everyday things.

The Direction of a Slide.

The first direction a slide goes is down.

If you were playing “Chutes and Ladders” and landed on a chute, or a slide, you would slide back down the board to wherever it ends. You would move backwards.

A slide on a playground always goes down. I’ve never seen a playground slide that goes up!

In the Christian life, if we do not trust in God and I’m talking about trusting Him more than in just salvation, we will start to slide in our life and gradually decline and move away from Him. When we aren’t trusting in God, we are trusting in something else, whether it be ourselves, someone else, money or whatever the case may be, our trust isn’t in God. Lack of trust in God will bring sliding in our life.

The second direction a slide goes is away.

You may not always go down when you start to slide but you will definitely start sliding away from the top or where you should be.

When you fail to trust God, you will eventually end up sliding away from Him. It may not happen instantly but over time, there will be so much distance between you and God because you trusted in everything else but Him.

The Dangers of a Slide

Although slides are very fun, they can be dangerous! In my opinion, the higher a slide is and the faster it goes, the better! I don’t like the little three foot slides anymore, I need something exciting!

I’ve seen kids fall off of slides, get stuck on a slide, hit the ground hard at the bottom of a slide. I’ve seen children crying because of their experience on a slide! I’ve seen the dangers of a slide.

When we start sliding in our Christian life because we lack trusting in God, we are in danger of failing as a Christian. When we don’t trust in God to lead and guide us in our daily life, we are in danger of making stupid decisions that we will end up regretting later!

Slides at the playground are fun! Like I mentioned before, the higher and faster they go, the better! Sliding in life because of our lack of trust in God, that’s not fun. It has its consequences!

Trust in the Lord! He will keep you from sliding in life!

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The Sin of Self-Indulgence

In Proverbs 23, Solomon doesn’t hold back when it comes to the topic of self-indulgence. We don’t see this term in the chapter, but we do see the principle throughout the entire chapter.

Solomon covers a few different topics of self-indulgence in this chapter.

He opens up the chapter with the self-indulgence of food. Vs. 1-3

He then mentions the self-indulgence of riches. Vs. 4-5

Next he talks about the self-indulgence of knowledge. Vs. 12, 23

He mentions the self-indulgence of sexual gratification. Vs. 27-28

Then he finishes the chapter with the self-indulgence of alcohol. Vs. 29-35

Self-indulgence: excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims.

When I look at the topics he covers throughout this chapter, there is only one that I believe is sin whether done in moderation or excess and that is alcohol. If you look at the other topics mentioned, they are all good if done in moderation. The exception to this would be sexual gratification, this is right if done within the confines of marriage between man and woman. Anything outside of the biblical guidelines is sin.

Food is good, but done in excess is gluttony.

Riches is good, but if that is our only concern in life then it becomes greed.

Knowledge is good, but we shouldn’t fill our minds with useless things and things contrary to Scripture.

Sexual gratification done in marriage is good, outside of that it is fornication and adultery.

Alcohol is sin. There is no good thing about it.

Anything done in excess, anything that we are unrestrained in, can be a sin if it takes the place of God or takes away from the things of God. We can make a list that goes beyond the topics covered in Proverbs 23 that can become sin if we indulge to much in them.

Self-indulgence comes from the inability to say no.

You eat too much because you can’t say no.

You are greedy because you can’t say no.

You don’t care what knowledge you gain, whether it is good or bad, because you can’t say no to what you listen to or look at.

You have sex outside of the biblical guidelines because you can’t say no.

You drink alcohol because you can’t say no.

If we are honest with ourselves, whether other people know or not, at some point we have all had a problem saying no to whatever sin we were faced with at the time.

One of the first words a child learns, at least mine did, is the word no. My one year old answers no to everything it seems like! Why is it that as we get older, we have a harder time saying no? It seems like it is easier to say yes to the wrong things and no to the right things when it really should be the other way around.

Tips on saying NO.

Don’t be afraid to say no!

Walk with God. Ask God to give you the power and strength to say no.

Avoid the things that you have a hard time saying no to.

Have someone to hold you accountable with the things you have a hard time saying no to.

Develop the right attitude towards wrong actions. When you believe wrong is wrong as much as you believe right is right, you will have an easier time saying no.

Don’t be afraid of what others may think of you for saying no. You have to give account for what you do in your life.

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Cast Not Your Lot

I was reading through Proverbs 1 the other day and I noticed something that I really hadn’t noticed before. When you read through a chapter of Proverbs each day, sometimes it seems like the same things jump off the page and are just reminded of the same issues you need to work on in life. So I was thrilled when I saw this truth and it has been on my mind since.

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole as those that go down into the pit:

We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:” Proverbs 1:10-14

In these verses, we see the sinner trying to entice the son and trying to get the son to go their own way, the way of foolishness and destruction. A few different things stick out from these verses, but I want to zero in on verse 14.

“Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:”

I was thinking about what this verse meant and I thought about it in a way that I have never thought of and that is what I would like to share today.

Whenever I read the book of Proverbs, I always read it in the mindset of teenager. Whenever I see the word ‘son’, I always think of him in the teenage years. Solomon was talking to his son, we really don’t know his exact age, but Proverbs is a great book for teeangers to learn from as well as adults.

So in these verses, I see the sinner telling the son to come with them. I see the worldly crowd telling the teen who has grown up in a Christian home, attends church, and has had his parents protect him from the world and the evil therein.

The sinner will entice you, no matter who you are, to get you to go with them. They want you to partake in their loose living and their evil deeds. They want you to be just like them.

When I see this verse and the sinner saying, “Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:” I think about how the sinner wishes they had what you still have.

You see, the sinner doesn’t care about you, they just want you to be just like them. If you are not part of their crowd and partaking in the things they do, they will try their hardest to get you to join them.

They want you to cast in your lot, or the wealth and riches you have, both spiritually and physically in some cases. They want you to be just like them, with nothing to show for their life.

When you cast in your lot with the sinner, you are giving up your testimony and reputation. These are the things that are valuable in life. When you say someone’s name, whoever it is, you automatically think of that person and their character, whatever it may be, good or bad.

The sinner and the world want to get you to throw your testimony and reputation into the same purse as theirs, and ruin what you have worked so hard to build. They want you to be a part of them and they know that you will never fully be a part of them until you give up your testimony and reputation.

Guard your testimony and reputation! Don’t give in to the world! There is no return on your investment in the world!

Reasons to Cast Not Your Lot

  1. Your testimony and reputation is yours. It is based on how you act and what you say and do. When you cast your lot into the world, you become just like them.
  2. When you cast your lot, you lose everything you worked for. In a matter of minutes your life can change. It takes only minutes to ruin a reputation while it takes years to build one. Don’t throw away your hard work to have a good testimony and reputation on a few minutes of feeling cool or like one of the crowd.
  3. You are not only wasting your life, but also the time and effort that was invested into you to help you build your reputation and testimony. I believe that we are who we are based on the decisions that we personally make. But I also believe that the decisions we make are influenced by those around us and those who have been in our life. Think about your parents, the preacher, the school teachers and many more, the people who have invested in your life hoping you would make it. Don’t waste their investment either.

We all have the decision to make whether we cast our lot into the world’s purse or not. It is our choice. I want to raise my children right, but that will not happen if I cast my lot. I want to make my parents proud, and others who have invested in my life, but that will not happen if I cast my lot. I have a lot riding on whether I cast my lot into the world or not.

On vacation this past week, I stopped by the church I grew up in. It was good to see many familiar faces. One person in particular, in passing, said, “It is good to see that you are still serving God.” I’m thankful that I am still living a life where that can be said about me. I pray that I would never cast my lot into the world’s purse. I pray that God would protect me and my family and 30, 40, 50 years from now, that statement can still be said about my life.

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Thanks for your continued reading! If you would like to support us but love shopping on Amazon more, just click on this link to shop! When you do, we get a little kickback, it is just something that helps keep this blog going!!

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