Negotiation seems to be the most honored skill in our culture. We hear a price and we try to get a better one. We receive an explanation of employer expectations and we immediately try to whittle them down to suit us. No price is final and no policy is in cement. There is always a better way to get our way.
Please understand that there is a time and a place for the use of negotiation skills and I’m always open to saving a few dollars. But our society has taken the art of negotiating a good deal and applied it to every part of life. Prices are seen as suggestions and conditions are made to be changed. That seems to be the new motto in our culture.
Children now negotiate about bedtimes and food choices. Students look for more convenient test dates and for agreeable content on exams. It seems everything is up for bargaining and the skills are honed at an early age.
I’ve been observing this aspect of human behavior over the past 25-30 years and have made some amateur observations. Sometimes our desire to negotiate jeopardizes our safety. At other times, we begin negotiating before we even know what the bottom line was going to be and certainly before we’ve heard all the conditions of the contract. We also will negotiate upon something that was already beneficial to us. Our desire to get a better deal keeps us from knowing a good deal when we see it.
It is my belief that this desire in human nature causes us to attempt to negotiate with God. After all, if the Ten Commandments are simply suggestion, shouldn’t we be allowed to choose which ones to follow and to what degree we follow? The apostle Paul might say, “May it never be.”
Exodus 19:8 records an admirable answer we should have with regard to God’s word. It says, “ All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’ And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD (Exodus 19:8 ESV).” James says, “ But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22 ESV).”
Have you reached the point where you have said you will do all that the LORD has spoken or are you negotiating for a better deal? Determine to do all that He has spoken. God has already offered the best in Jesus.
-Senior Pastor Randy Edwards