Sunday, July 15 , 2018, 4:52 pm | Fair 77º


Jim Langley: Playing the Game of Life

You may or may not consider life as a game, but there are a few correlations worth pondering. For instance, this world seems to be obsessed with winning at any cost.

In sports, the art of winning is somewhat controlled by the rules of the game being played. If you don’t follow the official rules and get caught, you or your team will be penalized and possibly even be disqualified from the competition. Penalties put you at a disadvantage and often affect the final outcome of the game.

In business, we have to follow rules in how we conduct our affairs and keep our financial records in order to pay our tax obligations. The penalties for “cooking the books” can be severe, and many businesses fail from inappropriate record-keeping.

Years ago, one of my most prominent clients got caught up in white-collar crime that cost him dearly. His boss, the owner of a multimillion-dollar entertainment business, spent a few years vacationing in a local penitentiary. Fortunately, my client never spent a day in custody and this incident led him, his wife and three daughters to the cross of Christ in the process.

International business is quite unique and, unfortunately, not all countries play by the same rules in their contractual and financial dealings. There needs to be a caveat when dealing with foreign entities where business practices, local laws and beliefs may well differ from what we consider customary practices. Transactions and dealings between governments can be extremely challenging as well.

Although the Code of Hammurabi may have been written a few centuries earlier, the law given to Moses and Aaron on Mount Sinai around 1500 BC as found in Exodus 20-23, is the most significant written text used in developing the laws of lands over these many centuries.

Governments need to have written laws that are judiciously enforced. Without written law we would be faced with lawlessness. There are those in our society who, unfortunately, feel there is no value in believing in a higher power.

In the study of philosophy, Nihilism is the complete rejection of moral values and religious beliefs. Such practices are dangerous to society as a whole and potentially can lead to anarchy. Our Lord certainly knew what He was doing when He gave the law to the Israelites on Mount Sinai.

Removing God from the equation can have dire consequences. After all, He created the heavens and the earth and He certainly understands the nature of man and woman since we are made in His image. He knows the worst and the best of the human race. We are His greatest creation.

Laws help us to live and act in a civil manner. In Deuteronomy 32, Moses recited the words of a song from beginning to end to the Israelites before being summoned by God to Mount Nebo to die. Try putting yourself in the shoes of those who heard Moses recite these words of warning.

Moses concluded in Deuteronomy 32:45-47, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you — they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 they brought these same laws and customs to America.

We are no different than those first million-plus followers of Yahweh, the Great I Am. His law and the laws of this land must be preserved in order for us to live life in an orderly manner.

We must play the game of life by the rules that have been set before us. I trust you will join me in obeying the rules established by our government and ultimately our Father in Heaven. To Him be all the glory!

Passages to Ponder

» Deuteronomy 30:19-20

» Isaiah 42:18-22

» Matthew 5:17-18

» Romans 2:12-13

» Galatians 5:13-15

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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