Most of us think we know the story of Benedict Arnold. He betrayed his country. It turns out, though, that before he committed this dastardly deed, he was a resourceful, gifted general who kept being passed over for promotion. He wanted to win and he wanted affirmation. In the course of the Revolutionary War, these personal desires grew greater within him than the desire to win something for his country and his fellow soldiers. His story is like many others. Maybe Solomon’s is worse. Here’s a man who, even more than Benedict Arnold, had everything going for him in order to finish well. But the Scriptures tell us that competing desires drew him away from himself and his Lord. The wisest man in the world became the biggest of fools, and all due to competing desires. They drew his heart away from what matters most. Solomon did not finish well. Perhaps our memory of him is not as dark as our memory of a man like Benedict Arnold. Maybe it ought to be. The country Solomon led became permanently and fatally divided after his death. The United States survived Arnold’s treachery. Solomon’s is a legacy of waste and wasted opportunities. Though we have inspired books in the Bible credited to his human authorship, this same Bible tells of his downfall and the “curse” of division this laid on the people of God that only Christ could (and did) offset. Use this season of Lent to look into your own heart. Are there competing desires within you that could make a Benedict Arnold out of you in your own life? Come clean about them and confess them to the Lord. Trust Jesus Christ to make you into someone who is faithful to God till the end.