I don’t think this will be news to anyone, but people are going to do things that don’t make any sense whatsoever. They’re going to choose to do things that are wrong and immoral and stupid and they’re going to do those things without thinking for one single second about what consequences those decisions are going to have for others.
Sometimes they’re going to make those decisions without even considering what the consequences are going to be for themselves.
I wish it were different. Wishing won’t make it so.
I can pray for them and I can use all manner of logic and I can show them eighteen different options and show them how all eighteen of them would make more sense than the one they’ve chosen. The one thing I can’t do, however, is make their choices for them.
I wish that were different, too…right up until I consider that if I could make their decisions, it might mean that someone else could be making mine. (Maybe those control issues I mentioned are deeper than anyone else imagined.)
When I find myself in a situation with someone who is making a bad decision, I have a choice to make. The choice I need to make is about my reaction. What I choose will make a difference…in our future relationship, in our future conversations and in what my future influence will be. I need to take all those things into consideration.
That doesn’t mean that I’m called to be fully supportive of decisions I know are wrong. That’s not the case, at all. In fact, I’m called to speak the truth in those situations just like I am in any other one. The thing to remember, however, is that according to Ephesians 4:15, I’m called to speak the truth in love. In fact, I’m called to do so in order to become more mature in my faith…in order to become more like Christ.
Yes, speaking the truth in love is possible. No, it may not be easy…to do or to hear. Regardless, my faith doesn’t allow me to pick and choose my response. I may need to delay my speech until I can articulate the truth in love, but I’m not excused from speaking it and I’m not excused from doing so with the right attitude.
Being a person of faith doesn’t allow me a pass on this. There are times I wish it would. It might be easier, but then again, the idea of disappointing my God is a far bigger deterrent than any concern I might have about what others might believe about me. I’m aware that there are people in my life who do not talk with me about certain decisions they’ve made because they already know I can’t give my approval and they also know why. When God has taken a stand on a particular issue, I must take that same stand if I’m to follow Him.
Today, that means I’m having a difficult time reconciling some choices made by some people I love. I can’t change them. I can’t change what God has said about their choices. What I can do is pray for all of us, speak the truth in love and live a life that’s consistent with my own decision to follow Christ and love them just like He does. It would seem I have my hands full just handling me today…