Friday, December 4, 2015
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. Philippians 1:20-25 (NLT)
If you’ve lived longer than twelve minutes as a human being you understand the conundrum of being torn between two choices. In this life you’re facing a choice, choosing, or dealing with the consequences of your choices.
And choices always have consequences. Adam and Eve made a choice that not only affected them, but has affected every other human being since. Judas made a choice he regretted all the way to despair. Christopher Columbus made a decision to go “all-in” when he left the “Old World” in search of the new. Living in America is a consequence for me, of a choice Columbus made 500 years ago.
Paul the apostle was under house arrest for being a Christian. He was torn between the choice to press his legal issues and perhaps be executed, or dial back his case and maybe get released so he could continue his missionary work.
What to do…what to do?
Paul knew what he wanted to do; he was tired and had been fighting the good fight for years – he wanted to go home to be with Christ. But the ultimate help factor in Paul’s choosing came into play when he released his want and chose to think with the mind of Christ; he said: But for your sakes…. That is what Jesus did when he came to die for us. It would have been much more desirable for Jesus to stay with the Father in heaven; but for our sakes….
So, what decisions are you facing? And HOW will you decide?
Depending on who you ask, you can find a wide variety of methodology for choice management. For instance, when choosing where to live, some will advise you to look for an affordable house near your kid’s schools. You might get a heads-up on what the taxes are in that district, or the crime rate, or availability of medical services.
Choosing whether to marry might be settled by what E-Harmony™ says about your match. Choosing a career might be influenced by salary, perks and retirement plan. Choosing to have, or not have children…choosing a car, a pet, an aftershave, a hairstyle, a waffle iron…choosing, choosing, choosing…what is a person to do?
Have you thought about asking God?
You see, when faced with a life-choice, there isn’t a thing wrong with googling the subject and looking for advice; but, in making life-decisions, shouldn’t the priority (for a Christian) be Kingdom-centered? Shouldn’t the mind of Christ be our first desire?
Doesn’t it make sense that, following the example of Paul, we should articulate the choices (for the apostle it was life continued in ministry for the sake of others…or death and getting to be with Jesus), and then ask Christ to place in our hearts the greater desire for what pleases Him?
You will have choices today beyond eggs or cereal for breakfast. In those choices there may be a “New World” versus an “Old World”. But, big choices or small, there are always consequences to all of the choices you’ll make.
Getting God in on the decision is what a person will do when he or she has surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.
A surrendered life makes choices to honor the King.