Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Means, Motive & Opportunity

I’ve been a fan of Law & Order for years, I’ve even enjoyed some of the spin offs. When the detectives are trying to build their case they look for Means, Motive & Opportunity. If they can prove these three elements of the crime and attach them to a suspect, you know an arrest isn’t far away. What is true in the natural is often true spiritually. Violating civil law is akin to committing a sin. We commit sin when we have the means, the motive and the opportunity.

Let’s take murder as an example. The means would be a hand gun, let’s say the motive is hatred and the opportunity is being alone in a dark alley. Over the years I’ve watch Christians develop various forms of control to keep themselves from violating the law and committing a crime, aka sin. They institute spiritual gun control; if I remove the means to sin, I will not sin. Or they say that dark alleys are out of bounds, don’t go there. The logic being, no opportunity equates to no sin. With this objective in mind how many of us have thrown away televisions or records over the years?

Means and opportunity are external and we can have only limited success controlling them. Why, because we have incredibly creative minds. If I don’t have a gun, I’ll pick up a stick or a rock. If there are no dark alleys I can find some other equally secluded location. No, if we are truly going to overcome our propensity for sin, the change will have to be internal; we will have to address the question of our motives. If our motives are changed we can have a house full of guns or live in a dark alley and we won’t sin.

Ask yourself this question… why do you do the things you do? Discover the real answer to that question and you’ll discover your motives. Freedom, true freedom is found not in layers of laws and regulations but rather in a clean heart with pure motives. King David clearly understood this concept. I make his words my prayer.

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; see for yourself whether I've done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life. Psalm 139:23-24 The Message

© Tom Zawacki 2006

1 comment:

  1. Great article - change our motives oh Lord.