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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making Hard Decisions

Eventually everyone has to make hard decisions. Being or becoming a Christian doesn't prevent what must be done. Sometimes, those things are hard.

Testimonies of "everything has been wonderful" after becoming a Christian are misleading. These testimonies allude to a life without any hard decisions. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Christians have to make as many hard decisions as others.

Don't you think that is the problem with our politicians now? They know that we cannot sustain our current spending pattern but are reluctant to cut spending. The hard decisions that they must make will not be popular. There will be good people who will not receive what they have always received. Many of those hard decisions will include people who will lose their jobs. Others will not have the government help that they have come to depend upon. These decisions require downsizing, saying goodbye to long term programs and seeing people make painful adjustments. These decisions will not make the politicians popular for the populace does not understand the need to cut. Many believe that there is an unlimited amount of money at every government's disposal. They will demonize anyone who takes what they have become accustomed to.

Churches have to make hard decisions at times too. Those who fail to do so die. They have to decide to reach people who are not coming at the expense of those who are coming. Many in the church will not understand this. They believe that the church ought to be a country club which caters to the wants of the membership. Some of these members will leave each time a church makes one of these hard decisions. It is inevitable. You have to go on following after the Lord and reaching people. Jesus did not command us to "go into all the world and become popular." He told us to make disciples. That means reaching people who do not know Him so that they become mature to make disciples of those who do not know Him.

Individuals have to make hard decisions too. A parent may decide that the family will go to church even though there is a sporting event at that time and the children will miss it. The employee may decide not to mislead a client and lose a sale to someone who will get mislead and get the sale. A Single Adult may decide to stop dating someone because he is not a Christian. A person may decide to tithe rather than buy the big screen TV. Each of these decisions may make the persons unpopular and keep them from something that they wanted.

But, where would we be if Jesus didn't make the hard decisions? Where would we be if He had decided that earth was no place for God to walk in human form? Where would we be if He had sided with the Pharisees instead of speaking the truth? Where would we be if He accepted Satan's temptations?

We would be on our way to hell.

Hard decisions are sometimes necessary. A hard decision was made for me, you and the world.

Luke 22:42 (NIV) 42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."


George Kwesi Ntow Omenakoh said...

nice piece

Anthony Chia said...

A timely reminder; wonderfully put.

And for your government, and those of others in like debt crisis, maybe they should give more consideration to this:

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7). The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets (Proverbs 21:20).”

We can pray, enforce, and attempt to usher in, as much as possible, the reality of the Kingdom of God, into this world, but we are still in this world, although we are NOT to be of this world anymore. There are 2 kingdoms at work here: the Kingdom of the World with Satan and his minions still running around, and the Kingdom of God which we are helping to "invade" the world. We are in the middle of it all, a war with many battlefields, let no one fool us that we do not have hard decisions to make in our lives after becoming a Christian. We are constantly being bombarded by the desires of the sinful nature still in us, and the opposing desires of the Holy Spirit indwelling us; and we are confronted with the trappings of the world, and we have to decide all the time.

Why then in the world should a person become a Christian? Simply, Man, and therefore, each individual man, has to choose to go back to the right side of the conflict. A non-Christian, in not choosing, is staying in his default side, the side where he is counted or reckoned with Satan, and his fate is "where Satan eventually goes, he goes". When he chooses to go over to God's side, through the reconciliation work done for us, at the great cost of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection, he has the backing of God behind him.

Satan will still try to pull him back to his side. The ugly side of Satan is that since he cannot get at God directly, he hit and will hit at God's creation. We say, that is wicked; precisely, that is what Satan is, wickedness. The opposite of wickedness is holiness, and that is God; God is holiness. One characteristic of these 2 natures is this: there is no consistency, reliability and dependability in wickedness, but there is consistency, reliability and dependability in holiness. In other words, in God, there cannot be lie, about-turns, and we can hold God to His words. Another way of putting it, the truths of God, as revealed in His Word, are true all the time, consistent, reliable and can be depended upon. As a Christian living in our current lives, this is our greatest empowerment. Know it, use it, and live in it, over time, we will grow to be more and more able to make the hard decisions of life.

But of course, you have to know what your side stands for; you don't betray your own side, or worse still, mutiny, and expect to receive the blessing of the "higher authority" and get his resources to back you or be at your disposal. So, there is no short-cut, we have to get to know God and what His plans and desires are, through his Word, principally, and then we know how to decide accordingly, AND with expectation that He will back us up. Faith is inevitably involved. James 1:5-8 - “5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” And we need to grow (in faith, in knowledge and in knowing Him), and a sign that we have grown is this: Eph 4:14 – “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Anthony Chia, high.expressions