Pillar of Faith: Too Many Options …

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This road or that road? Stay-cation or escape? Pizza or burger or Thai food?


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Our lives are full of options. It is overwhelming with the number of decisions we face each day. Even if you’re reading this over your morning coffee, you’ve still made hundreds of choices (cream, sugar, or black today? Toast or bagel or yogurt? Shall we hear the news again today? About…).

Most of the options seem to depend on preferences, what we feel like or what we have energy for today. In the grand scheme of life, they seem insignificant: the course of your life will not be altered if you choose a coffee with friends or a quiet day at home.

However, some options can very easily change what the rest of our days will be like. Do I stay in this relationship? Do I go to this university, that college, or do I work my way into administration at my job? Do we want to have children? Should we move to the coast? These decisions rightly need a little more consideration, weighing up the different outcomes for you and your family and friends.

And then what does God think about your decision? I’m not talking about morality, because it becomes an easier answer (the choice between breaking windows or going to the library should be easy!). I speak of the will of God. What does He know is best for you? And how can you know that you have made the right decision?

Very often we end up thinking about our life choices and God’s will about our choices, as if there is a perfect path, and if we find the path to it, we are living in the sweet spot. We treat our days as if we are looking for the soul mate of our life.


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This is absolutely stunning.

We don’t, rather, can not know the mind of God. If we feel that we must have His answer before making any decision, we will be paralyzed for all of our days.

And beyond that, we are sinners (yes, even as rejoicing, believing Christians!). So even if he had known God’s plan, he would have found it out within seconds of knowing it. Even if I do manage to crawl down His “planned” path, I will not be able to do everything the right way, at the right time.

And all of this assumes that God has a unique plan for each of us, but that is not how the Bible discusses God’s will (and our discernment of it). Certainly, God knows everything, so tomorrow is not a surprise to Him, but that does not mean that He had everything written beforehand for you! And even if you did, it wasn’t up to you to figure it all out.

Paul, writing to the Colossians, prays “that [they] be filled with the knowledge of his will with all spiritual wisdom and intelligence, in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him fully, to bear fruit in every good work, and to increase in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1: 9-10). The precise details of each of our days are less important than the characteristics that fill each moment. Whether we choose to work, play, or rest, are we walking in a God-worthy way? As we move forward in our days, are we taking time to fill ourselves with God’s wisdom and understanding (spending time in His Word and in prayer)? Are we bearing fruit in good works (regardless of the good works we seek)?


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Colossians 3:17 tells us, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” So we have remarkable freedom in the decisions that we make, in the paths that we follow. At all times, we must remember that we are baptized, forgiven, beloved children of God. We must remember that we have been loved in order to love the world around us. We must remember that we are sinners and need God’s constant grace and mercy. But beyond that, go free, friends!

You can choose whether you want to become a teacher or janitor or doctor or city councilor, taking into account your skills and passions and how you will serve your family and community. These are all perfectly valid options, and whichever you choose will please God! (For the love of Jesus, not how well you do!) You can freely decide between living in this city or that county, knowing that God will love you and love you through you in either option!

As someone for whom Christ died, you have been given this life to enjoy and bless the world around you, so go in peace and rest in the decisions you make!

Pastor Scott Brayall of Faith Lutheran Church



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