“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” ~Galatians 1:10
Why do we do what we do?
Simple question….lengthy answers? Or could it be a simple answer?
During one of my life’s most difficult seasons, my Pastor Reg’s response to my gauntlet of a whirlwind of questions was, “Ask yourself with each decision… What is the wise thing? What is the right thing… what is the wise thing, what is the right thing?”
What is the wise thing?
What is the right thing?
Since then, I cannot tell you the countless times I whisper this question over and over as I face the next thing.
So, why do we do what we do?
Pride? Ego? People pleasing? Fear of failure?
Serving myself? Serving other’s whims and pressures?
Two things that I have pondered ever since that conversation with my Pastor…
- I won’t know what the wise thing is unless I actively seek the giver of wisdom.
That Bible that sits on my nightstand… It contains the words from my Father. Why is it so much easier to seek every other source in the world when I face decisions, than to go immediately to the source in prayer? Am I daily learning more about God, and His ways? Are my roots growing deeper? Do I intentionally seek?
You don’t gain knowledge about math without listening to instruction, studying, applying and working it out. You don’t increase in ability at your sport, or musical instrument, or workplace without listening to instruction, studying, applying, and working it out… See where I’m going with this? 🙂
2. I often know the wise thing, or the right thing… but I choose otherwise.
Entertain my silliness for a moment, but when I ask myself, “What is the wise thing..?” before I decide to eat that huge piece of cheesecake for lunch… well, I do kinda know the answer. However, I eat it anyway.. and an hour later I feel sluggish, heavy, and I haven’t fed my body the proper fuel for my day to be the best in productivity. Now, I may make that decision again because that cheesecake is so yummy! Lol. But, at least I need to own the consequences.
There are some decisions that carry much more severe weight, and consequences.. and owning our unwise choices is not silly, or trite, but vital for our life and those we love around us. We grow when we face our wrong decisions square in the face, and work it out with God’s ways accordingly. One wrong decision doesn’t have to turn into a snowball of more, and more and more wrong decisions. I did you wrong? I need to face it, apologize and change my behavior.. But, when my ugly pride and me sits on that throne… I ignore the question of what is right (or talk myself into a solution that isn’t godly) and instead of making it right, I cling to the wrong one, justify it, and continue to walk serving someone other than God.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m carrying my load wrong, I get tired. The absence of God in my decisions and thought processes makes me feel burdened, confused at times, and alone. But, the presence of God is my fullness of joy. And joy is my strength. See how that works out? “He will make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV). He’s a good Father – He’s not going to keep the wise thing or the right thing a secret from you… seek Him today with your every question.
And may our motivation for what we do be all about Him, through Him, and because of Him.