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Recognizing and avoiding words, actions and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences.

Devotional Thought

Read 2 Kings 18:1-12.

The nation of Israel turned its back from the Lord. King after king led them into deeper corruption farther and farther away from God. However, King Hezekiah was a breath of fresh air. The Scriptures tell us that he trusted in the Lord as he clung to Him. He removed the false gods and idols. He returned God's Word to the people. Guess what happened to Hezekiah and his people? The Scriptures tell us that they prospered under his reign.

God is eager to give a blessing to those who seek after him. One of the definitions of discretion is "power of free decision or latitude of choice." Hezekiah demonstrated discretion as he chose to break away from the temptations that had plagued the kings before him.

As individuals, we each are presented with the opportunity to make our own choices. God grants freedoms to us to choose the path and direction of our lives. We are warned in Matthew 7:13-14 that the path to God is a narrow road, and only a few find it. Along the path of life there are many appealing lures to tempt us and pull us away from our relationship with God. But with discernment and a solid relationship with Christ, we will find the narrow road.

The reality is that each of us have weak spots where we are susceptible to the temptations of this world. Though some may fall due to one bad decision, most of those who get into trouble make a series of tiny bad decisions-even decisions which go undetected-that slowly wear down the character of a person. Song of Solomon 2:15 talks about the "little foxes that ruin the vineyard." These "foxes" may include areas where we are totally off base. At other times the "foxes" may be slight compromises which goes unchallenged by anyone in our lives. God's Word teaches us to stand firm in the faith and to guard against falling away (Hebrews 5:14).

One of the best choices you can make is to become accountable to another person. Unfortunately, many fall away because they do not have to answer to anyone for their behavior. Being accountable is owning up to past hurts and present shortcomings by committing to positive change. It begins with seeing the need to make changes and courage to make it happen with a new plan of action. Every person needs protection from self, along with a safety net. Pride is the biggest enemy. We need to bring ourselves to a point where we can confess our sins one to another. By the way, did you know that King Hezekiah had an accountability partner? His identity is found in 2 Kings 19:5-6.