Most of us have experienced a multiple choice test at some time in our lives. The point of such a test is to present several choices that might look acceptable but only one answer is correct. Sometimes you get a choice that says something like “both A and B are correct.” If the test maker was skilled, most of the answers could seem correct to someone who hasn’t studied the material ahead of time.
Recently I had one of my sons take a multiple choice test as a pretest to a subject he would be studying. Since it was a pretest, there was no way he could know all the answers. As he worked through the questions he got frustrated and wanted me to just tell him the answers. But of course, that wasn’t the way it worked! He was tempted to just guess at all the answers and be done but sometimes when he looked closer at the options one would begin to stand out as the most likely answer. And sometimes he would just have no idea. That’s when I explained that after he studied the material and took this test again he would have the answers. He would be more knowledgeable about the subject and more confident in his answers.
God gives us choices too. Sometimes the right choice is clear and sometimes it feels more like a multiple choice test. Sometimes more than one choice seems good. So why would God put us in a situation like this?
I believe God desires for us to seek the best choice and not settle for something that may be good but not the best. There may be nothing wrong with any of the options and it might be that we would not label any of them as sin. The searching and the waiting are training us to seek wisdom.
1 Corinthians 6:12 says “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
By giving us choices, God is training us to seek wisdom. The more we ask, the more we get in the habit of asking. Sometimes making a decision requires us to study the options and become knowledgeable in new things before we can decide. It may be that all of the options are perfectly acceptable but God has something wonderful in store if we are willing to ask Him for direction. Having knowledge is good, but wisdom is knowing what to do with knowledge.
How many daily decisions do you make without taking God’s plan into consideration? He couldn’t possibly be interested in all those small, seemingly unimportant choices could He? Oh, but He could! And He is! He wants us to come to Him about everything in our lives. Every decision we make is important to God. He can use each one to teach us wisdom.
Perhaps there is an answer you have been searching for. Ask God for wisdom and trust His direction. He has the answer key!
What is the different between a peace keeper and a peace maker? Aren’t they really the same thing? Aren’t both just interested in less conflict and more peace and tranquility? Not necessarily.
Peace keeping implies that there is already a peace to be kept. It means that you try to bypass conflict, sometimes doing whatever it takes to avoid it. It means that you hang on to whatever peace is there even if it’s not the best situation. If there is no conflict then there is nothing to worry about, everything will be just fine.
Peacemaking, on the other hand, implies that there is something that must be done. If you are going to “make” something you have to “do” something. It might require conflict, it might require negotiation, it WILL require risk.
Matthew 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” God wants us to be peacemakers. He wants us to be willing to take a risk in order to be used by Him to make peace happen. His goal is a restored relationship, not an artificial sort of peace that says “as long as we don’t deal with it, it can’t hurt us.”
Do you have relationships that are products of peace keeping? Become a peace maker and see those relationships become so much richer.
Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Have you ever noticed how many times we speak the opposite of what we really want or believe? It happens especially when we are frustrated or trying to figure out a problem that has us stumped. We might say things like “this will never work” or “I give up.”
Other times we might be in a difficult conversation and say things we later regret and really didn’t mean but the heat of the moment plowed right over our better judgment. Our mouths can get us into so much trouble!
Sometimes what we say may not be hurtful but it’s easy to just be plain negative. Let’s face it; life isn’t exactly easy these days. What with the economy, politicians, taxes, traffic, job stress, hectic lifestyles and even the weather, there is much to grumble about. But does our grumbling do us any good?
The better question is, does it do the people around us any good? Who hears us when we grumble? Our families for sure. Our friends and neighbors, maybe. And likely a host of other people who just happen to be in earshot when we are at the grocery store or the doctor’s office or church. How do our words affect those who hear them? Maybe those who are searching and wondering if we have what they are looking for, are listening more closely than we realize.
The Lord gives us some direction in Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.
God told us we should choose life. And one way that we can do that is by paying attention to what we say because according to Proverbs 18:21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
What we say has incredible impact so choose to speak life. You never know who might be listening.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:15
That about covers it. We are to love others in the body of Christ, we are to love strangers, and we are to love our enemies. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t fit in one of those three categories.
And there are no conditions placed on that call to love. It never says that we must only love when others live up to our expectations or when they love us first. Our Heavenly Father loves us in spite of our shortcomings. In spite of our sin. He asks us to love in the same way He loves us. If we withhold love when people don’t measure up, then our love is based on behavior. It becomes conditional. If God’s love for us was dependent upon our actions or our words where would we be?
He didn’t say it would be easy. He didn’t say it would be comfortable. He said it would bring Him glory! In the passage from John, quoted above, it says that all men will know that we are His disciples if we show love. Do all men know that you are a Christ-follower by watching how you love others?
Lord, teach us to love as you have loved us.