There’s the joke about a mother who was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. She told the boys, “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus !” (selected)
While the mother saw an opportunity to teach her sons an important lesson about giving, little Kevin saw it as an opportunity to get the first pancake. The mother intended it for good; the older brother intended it for only pleasing himself.
Whenever opportunity knocks we would do well to examine our motive before opening the door. If the opportunity will bring about something good, then welcome it in gladly. But if it will produce something bad, then it’s best to turn it away.
Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether it’s opportunity at our door or temptation. One way to tell is that an opportunity usually doesn’t come along very often. But temptation is always waiting to enter our lives. It has been said that opportunity knocks once at the door but temptation leans on the doorbell.
One writer commented,
“An opportunity can take a few seconds to engage with and bring massive returns. A temptation sucks everything you have got and when you have finally extricated yourself from it, it sits in the corner making faces at you.” (https://seymourjacklin.co.uk/2010/10/26/opportunities-vs-temptations)
Whenever we answer the door of opportunity it’s up to use to decide if we’re going to use it for God’s glory or abuse it for our own selves. Of course, there’s the temptation to choose the latter. But we know that only leads to a dead end. The correct way to take advantage of an opportunity is to ask whether we are going to please God with it or not.
The Bible says that whenever there’s an opportunity, make the most of it while you have the time (Ephesians 5:16; Galatians 6:10) But at the same time, make sure you do not give in to the temptation to use it for evil—that is, for something that doesn’t please God (Ephesians 4:27; 5:8-10; Colossians 1:9-10) It wouldn’t be right and you’d only end up disappointed.
Rather, make sure that when you open the door of opportunity, give thanks for it and do it heartily for the Lord’s sake. And then you’ll be greatly rewarded not merely in this life but when you receive your inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
Here’s the way the Apostle Paul puts it in Colossians 3:
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. 23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. (NOTE: All scripture quotes are from the New American Standard Bible, 1995, unless referenced otherwise.)
So, when opportunity knocks at your door, don’t just sit there. Who knows? It might be Christ standing behind it. Jesus said in Revelation 3,
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Good News to YOU!
P.S. Here’s an old spiritual sung and performed in modern fashion: “Somebody’s Knockin’ at Your Door,” https://youtu.be/_qDq8MFDDTQ