There are so many ways to find loop holes and work arounds in Exodus 90. The same is true of life. But at the end of time when we stand before the throne of judgement how nervous do we want to be about the decisions we've made? How much do we want to rely on our persuasive skills to justify all our actions before the one who knows all things, all minds, all hearts?
Do you want to go to the church movie night during Exodus 90? Do you want to add syrup to your pancakes? Do you want to drink a protein shake between meals? All of these decisions have grey area to them. All of them can be justified. That is true, but it is not what is most important. What is most important is our hearts.
What's your intention? Why do you want to go to the church movie night? Is it because your wife has asked you to take the children there? Or is it because you want to get in a movie fix amidst your abstinence? See the difference? The intention makes all the difference in the answer to this question.
Here are some steps:
- Assess what act is in question
- Ask yourself specifically what intention is behind taking up this act. (This takes honesty)
- Ask the Lord if this intention is a better intention than simply following the spirit of the disciplines that he has called you to in the days of this exercise. [If your time in prayer does not bring you a clear result, bring this question up to your fraternity spiritual director if you have one, or to your fraternity for further counsel.]
- Communicate the result with your fraternity so everything is in the light and your brothers can continue to hold you accountable well.
As men we are not looking to be legalistic. At the same time, we need to be men of integrity and hold each other to the commitments we have made. Whatever the result, know that God, the all good Father, always has your best interest in mind. It may not feel like it in the moment, but he knows and sees far more factors than we ever will. Trust in his goodness.
Blessings on your greater Exodus journey.
Author of Exodus 90