Saturday, August 05, 2006

Decision Making for the Christian

Do we listen to God’s instruction for our lives? When God tells you to do something, do you do it without hesitation? Or do you question it? Do you complain about it? Do these questions sound reasonable to you? Are you entertaining them? (I hope you’re brushing them off because its this type of vague rhetoric that I want to express some frustration about).

These types of questions are very common in the Christian community (especially the evangelicals). Christians have developed a pseudo language to talk about spiritual matters and have evolved it using an “emperor’s new clothes” method of confusion into a language which can only be understood by those who are shallowly pretending that questions like those above have more meaning than simply “do you do what you feel like God wants you to do?” (Also see this post of mine and realize that God has probably never told you to do anything).

Another rhetorical and practically meaningless phrase that I am not particularly fond of is “just give it to God”. Yea and how exactly do you do that? “Just stop worrying about it and realize that God is going to take care of it” …. Ok let me recap: the solution to my problem of “worrying” is to “stop worrying”. Thanks for the help captain evangelical!

Let me explain why the question “do we do what God tells us to do?” is only asked by someone not wanting to address any real issues on a practical level. This a pretend scenario. For some reason, we like to think of the spiritual world in ‘make-believe’ terms. We all pretend like something is going on when it really isn’t. In the real world, when faced with a tough decision, the problem is knowing what to do. The problem isn’t knowing whether or not to do the right thing! It's to know what the right thing is! Sometimes several solutions would morally acceptable. (Obviously I am not talking about moral questions here because when faith or morals are involved, we have the Church to guide us). We want to know which one we should do but God doesn’t come out and tell us which one. Our dilemma is not whether or not to follow what He wants for us, but to know what the correct course of action is (regardless of how painful it might seem at first).

We also like to say things like “Let God be the pilot of your life”. Is that like saying “Let God be the puppeteer”? Or what do you really mean by this? God gave us free will. Our challenge is to balance free will and following His will for our life. But the real challenge is knowing what His will is. I don’t want to become a monk for example, but if God split open the heavens and cried out with a thunderous voice accompanied by a choir of angels “I want you to become a monk” then... well that would be the easiest decision I would ever have to make in my life. Problem is, He doesn’t do that very often. In fact: He’s never done it for me and I doubt He ever will. So I have to make decisions (seemingly) on my own sometimes. So what do you really do when you pray and pray every day but receive no clear answer?

I am trying to think in the past of all the big decisions Ive made and how they have affected me for good or for evil. When I think back, I don’t remember any major mistakes that I made in which I prayed a lot before hand. Perhaps I can take comfort in that.

Sometimes I just wish I could know for sure one way or the other. (And uhh… no I don’t have any big decision coming up I’m just randomly blogging. Ahem…)

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