Not all families have a long term vision. Our family is fortunate enough to have a God-given vision ‘to make a difference’ – which is what we strive doing every day – changing lives by making a difference. It is not easy.
Our family decided to draw up a family constitution to ensure that all our family members understand the vision God gave us and to adhere to our family principles consisting of integrity, honesty, responsibility, generosity, trust, social purpose, hard work, accountability, a good education and entrepreneurship. Our constitution is a set of guidelines for our family members in their personal, business, and family relationships.
To give the document extra meaning, we recently signed it on my Big 7 birthday. The thought of this document and the enormous responsibility also on the generations to come, kept turning in my mind. It was accentuated when I read that “…as a result of unholy conduct, affliction came on the house of David – distinctly from the hand of God.” (Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith 14 Aug.)
After also reading 1 Kings 11, I realised that although we might have strong faith (like Dawid), we have weak spots (like Dawid) and it is at these places where temptation usually strikes. “Lust, materialism and pride…the downfall of so many of us. Over the years I have come to realize that I just cannot trust myself or rely on my own insights. My thoughts, judgements and actions are flawed, unless I seek the Lord’s presence, the wisdom of His Word and the advice of trusted Christian friends.” (My own words in ‘What does God know about Business?’)
I realised that our family constitution will become meaningless unless we are aware of our weak spots and make a concerted effort, with God’s help, to strengthen and protect them. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link and un-strengthened and un-protected weak spots are just that – the weakest link.
Salomon, with all his wisdom, knew the right way to live but did not always have the will to do it. We need to develop the wisdom to do right, but also the will to do it! At the end of Solomon’s life he was still wise, but he was no longer godly – how sad.
I started to realise that ‘a little sin’ can be the first step in turning away from God. The sin we start excusing causes us the greatest trouble. As Solomon so aptly states “The little foxes are ruining the vineyards. Catch them…! (Song of Solomon 2:15) I need to catch the little foxes, the little sins, before ‘my and my family’s vineyard’ is ruined as we let the ‘little sins’ go unchallenged.
Do I stand blameless before God? No. Like Dawid I am not perfect but it does mean that I am willing, like Dawid, to make things right when I fail. I need to confess my sin to God and ask Him for strength to resist temptation and strengthen my weak spots – so that I will not bring affliction on my own house.