If you’re familiar with the stock market, you probably know what a “stop-loss” is. It’s an order whereby your shares are automatically sold if their value drops to a predetermined level. This prevents your losses from becoming even greater if share prices drop further.
It’s a handy tool to set in place when trading on the stock market. It locks in your profits or limits your losses in a down market, and helps preclude financial catastrophe.
But don’t you wish we had a “stop-loss” for real-life problems?
Oftentimes we get ourselves into situations that seem to spiral out of control. Our troubles may be partly self-inflicted, and might result in a broken relationship or the loss of our reputation. Somehow our problems get more serious than we’d ever intended, and we can end up facing a catastrophe.
How do we prevent this from happening? Is there some sort of automatic “stop-loss” we can set up in our lives to keep us from falling into disaster?
As Christians, we do have something of the sort. God has several ways He uses to try to protect us from losses. They’re not really automatic, however, because we have the free will to disregard them if we choose.
The Holy Spirit speaks to our conscience when we’re getting involved in things that aren’t in accordance with God’s will or might not be in our best interest. Unfortunately, we sometimes plow ahead with what we want to do and ignore any qualms or uneasiness in our conscience. It’s only later that we realize we should have listened to what God was trying to tell us.
The wisdom and advice in the Bible is also available to us to show us the right paths to take. If we skimp on reading the Bible or ignore the direction it contains, we’re bound to have difficulties in our lives that we could have otherwise avoided.
God might also use Christian friends, family and church leaders to try to guide us, but we have to be open to their advice. They might caution us when they see we’re on the wrong track, hoping to minimize the damage or loss we experience. If we don’t pay attention to the warnings of godly people, we can fall into situations that end up harming us or are very difficult to repair.
The thing is, God won’t automatically stop us from certain behaviours. He gives us the free will to obey Him or not to. He wants to protect us from self-inflicted losses, but it’s up to us to heed the danger signs we’re given.
Let’s try to be more attentive to the “stop-loss” warnings God gives us. Let’s be sensitive when the Holy Spirit or others are nudging us to check our attitudes, and take advantage of the Biblical wisdom God wants to impart to us. That way, our self-inflicted losses in life can be mitigated, and the chart of our progress can get back on the upswing again.
The good news is that, even if we do make a mess of certain situations, God is faithful and just to forgive us. He promises to work all things together for the good of those who love Him: that includes the events we view negatively.
And when we’ve been restored, there’s no upper limit on the blessings He has in store for us and the good that we can do for others!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.