Repeat after me: “I have the potential to make a decision that will screw up my relationship.”
People like to talk about potential, but only in the positive sense. We tend to bring it up when talking about people with a lot of knowledge or skills.
How about negative potential? Do we ever think about that?
I personally think a lot of drama and unfaithfulness could be diminished if people were honest about their potential. Instead of saying, “I can go out to dinner with this girl even though she isn’t my wife. I would never cheat on my wife.” you should say “I shouldn’t be in an intimate setting with someone of the opposite sex because I’m capable of anything.”
We’re all capable of anything, good or bad. Paul even went so far as to say “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
We all have the potential to do something highly stupid and disastrous. That’s why we need to set up boundary lines – boundary lines that aren’t close the edge, but are far enough away that we can’t even see the other side.
People don’t like boundary lines; it makes them feel fenced in. But the reality is that boundaries fence in the things you shouldn’t be getting into. Think of it like the zoo: You’re not in a cage while the animals circle around you, but instead, the animals are caged while you walk around freely. The threats are caged in and off limits, not you.
Galatians 5:16 explains the best thing to do with keeping your “potential” in check: “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
When we turn to God first, He directs us in a path of good results. He’s not trying to suck the freedom out of your life by setting up boundaries and telling you to flee from temptation. He’s trying to keep chaos from taking over your life.
So why aren’t you turning to Him? He knows your potential. He’s there to help. He wants to save your relationship as much as you do.
Verses to Meditate On:
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!
1 Cor 10:12-13
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
2 Timothy 2:22
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.