Apples of Gold
Radio Script for August 29, 2008
“Beware of the Permission Givers”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
Sister Susie is struggling with her marriage.
It’s no big thing, really. They just aren’t getting along. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine, they say.
Then along comes Susie’s friend Sally. They went to high school together and still get together for coffee sometimes.
So Susie pours out her troubles to Sally in the booth at the Latte Grande.
“You know what?” Sally says, “Life is too short. When me and Scott weren’t getting along I figured, ‘Why put up with it?’ Divorcing him was the smartest thing I ever did.”
“So you’re saying I should leave Steve? I don’t know, Sally…”
“Oh, hey, I’m not saying you should leave Steve. Not at all. I’m just saying that you don’t have to be unhappy. I mean, look at me. I’m dating Alex now and I’ve never been happier.”
“So what should I do?”
“Look, Susie, do what you want. Do whatever you think is best. But if you’re looking for permission to leave Steve and start fresh, you’ve got it.”
And that’s the way it goes, a thousand times a day. One person toys with doing wrong, and someone else gives them permission to do it.
And that leads me to offering this warning: Beware of the permission givers.
Oh, it’s not always so blunt. They don’t literally say, “I give you permission.” No, what they usually say is, “I did it” – with the subtle hint that – “You can too.”
“You mean you run that business out of your garage and never report the income?” “Nope. Why would I?”
See, when someone else does something wrong, it has a way of giving you permission to do the same. Beware of that.
Romans 1:32 talks about people who know right from wrong, yet choose to do wrong anyway. But they don’t stop there. It says they also approve of others who do wrong.
See, we are all wired to seek the approval of others, to one degree or another. And when we have an opportunity to do wrong, one thing we consider is what other people will think. If our action will be roundly condemned by everyone, we probably won’t do it.
But when temptation comes along, it is usually accompanied by a permission giver. There will be someone to give you the approval you are looking for. And that will make it so much easier to give in to the temptation.
So like I said, beware of the permission givers.
Now it doesn’t have to be a friend. It could be an article in a magazine. Or a character in a novel.
For example, let’s say you are bored in your marriage, and now someone else has caught your fancy. And now you read a bestselling book like “The Bridges of Madison County.” The characters in that novel become permission givers. They did it, and so can you.
Song lyrics can be permission givers. Anything that portrays something wrong as being okay can act as a permission giver.
This is one reason it is so important to spend time with God and His Word. God’s standards must become our standards. We must be tuned in to His measurement of what’s right and wrong. Then when anything comes along that deviates from His standard, we know it.
Now here’s part two of this lesson. Don’t be a permission giver yourself.
If someone is tempted to do wrong, don’t ever give them permission to do so.
Now listen to this. I think Christians need to be careful about telling grand tales of their past misadventures. If we aren’t careful, we end up giving permission to others to do the same.
And think about this. Our current actions always give permission. Anything and everything we do, right or wrong, is a giant declaration that, “This is okay.”
Romans 14:22 says, “Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.”
Sure, you may not stand up in church and announce that you approve of something sinful, but listen. If you do it yourself, you are approving it. When we do anything, we automatically give other people permission to do the same.
So don’t be a permission giver. Don’t approve of doing wrong, which means don’t do wrong yourself.
Permission givers have a powerful influence. They set the standard for right and wrong. And we are all more likely to do wrong if someone gives us permission to do so.
So if you want to do right, if you want to stay on the straight and narrow, then be careful who is around you. Be selective of your influences. Beware of the permission givers.
E-mail me: email@example.com.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2008 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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