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Many people associate this time of year with drinking special beverages (eggnog, punch, etc.). Because of the holidays, I suppose, I encountered a temporary sobriety checkpoint where drivers were subjected to a breathalyzer test. I didn’t have to touch my nose or walk a line, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless. Every state has set certain limits that calculate whether a person’s judgment is impaired because of an intake of alcohol. The concerns are justified and the diligence of law enforcement personnel helps keep our roads safer.

In thinking about “impaired judgment,” the breathalyzer test measures physical impairment that keeps us from being able to react properly under normal conditions. It made me think through the kinds of things that impair us from making good decisions in this journey of life. Let me list from my observations four ways that our judgment can be seriously hindered:

  • Unmovable opinions: The determination of the Pharisees to stick to the rules at all costs prevented them from experiencing the greatest visitation of God!
  • Personal pain: The deep disappointment Cain experienced resulted in such an emotional overload that he rejected God’s counsel and ended up in the land of Nod (interpreted as the absence of the presence of God).
  • Misplaced priorities: The zeal of the “Sons of Thunder” to follow Jesus was so intense that they lost sight of the mission … to love, mend, train and send.
  • Resident evil: Allowing an unguarded place in your heart, as Judas did, that can be accessed by the kingdom of darkness, has incalculable consequences.

The Word clearly says, “Stay sober and vigilant,” (1 Peter 5:8). Those words aren’t referring to what we’ve been drinking, but rather to how we stay mentally, physically and spiritually alert. Follow that advice, and you’ll never have to fear an unexpected “road check”—in fact, should you encounter one, I bet you’ll be able to touch your nose with your eyes closed!

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)

By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.