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News reported recently that actress Penelope Cruz will be the oldest-ever Bond girl. Why would that make national headlines? Because American men grew up idolizing James Bond for many reasons, including always "getting the girl." I admit, I'm a fan of the Ian Fleming character and movies. But this week, I want you to see that James Bond is an icon of infidelity. God’s man can learn something from agent 007.
License to Kill Heart, Body and Soul
Bond, James Bond, had a “license to kill” in the line of duty, which was a license to thrill audiences for decades with action, adventure and romance. His license gave him access to travel the world and “entertain” women of all nationalities and backgrounds. This fantasy hero captures men, creating an unreal notion that men, and women, can slip between the sheets without causing any damage.
While society shouts “feed your ego,” I hope God’s man can avoid this cultural trap by learning how to “feed your soul.”
We are all vulnerable to the “cultural trap,” because we live in this world, and this world is not for us, it’s against us. When you feel trapped, often it’s the dabbling in drugs and alcohol that crash your house of cards.
God’s man needs to know about the trap, and how to avoid it. The key is to “feed your soul, not your ego.”
Think of your soul as a bridge between yourself and God’s spirit. Your soul is who you are - which is a mix of history and mystery. Your soul is made of your past and present. Your soul combines what you know, with what you have yet to learn. It’s who you are, at a core level.
So how do you feed your soul?
Ironically, the best way to feed your soul is to take the focus off yourself, and onto God. I think the most important skill to avoid the cultural trap is to feed your soul by learning how to love God. If you know how to love God then you’ll know how to love yourself, love others and ultimately how to feed your own soul. Jesus said it is the greatest commandment, and I believe it’s the key to avoiding the cultural trap.
Cory Monteith, of the TV hit show Glee, fell into the “cultural trap.” So did Lance Armstrong, as do so many professional athletes and celebrities whose lives, careers and reputations are cut-short or destroyed by drugs, alcohol or other addictions. But famous people are not the only ones susceptible. So are you and me.
What is the “cultural trap?” It’s the notion society promotes to “feed your ego, not your soul.” If we make more money, have more friends, have the trophy wife, have more toys, vacations, time-shares, trinkets, and things, then we will have it all. We can easily get caught comparing ourselves to others which baits the trap of doing things that feed our ego and esteem. And, often drugs and alcohol push us over the edge.
Why would a rising star who appears to have it all wind up on the floor of a hotel room dead due to overdose? Why would a superstar athlete cheat? They were trapped and didn’t know how to get out. Then, they chose to flirt with drugs and alcohol which turns ugly -- fast.
Dating is one of the most interesting social studies. Two people with different personalities begin a relationship; with past baggage, a variety of ‘cultural’ expectations, socio-economic histories, family background, values, morals and faith -- you might wonder if it’s possible to think that dating can actually lead to marriage.
From the very opening line to the closing technique, finding dating truths for God’s man can be difficult because there’s not much “dating,” as we know it today, in the Bible.
A recent study reports one-third of new marriages start with online dating; obviously making the computer the latest, greatest cupid's arrow. I can see where online dating websites can play a role in connecting two people, but they don’t replace two of God’s timely dating truths.
1. Where to Begin?
You can do relationships your way or God's way.
So many adults take a vacation from God in the dating and sex arena only to wind up paying a steep emotional and relational price that will harm them for the rest of their lives. You may relate to thinking either you know better than God (pride) or that you will "miss out" (fear) if you honor him. Both impatience and arrogance breed horrible dating decisions.