Or, Decision Making Part 2. Or, When Its Not Black and White.
My mind goes to three scenarios today. The first is from a lesson taught at the Love & Respect Parenting Conference we attended. Dr. Eggerichs made the case that parents discipline their children according to what seems best to them. This involves reasoning and decision making, not out-of-control punishment. As a side note, if you can see your parents as having done what seemed best to them, you may be able to forgive their mistakes. Eggerichs suggested that Mother and Father should work out an agreement about discipline in private and present a united front to the kids. The decision may not be perfect. Someone may have had to compromise in order to reach agreement. However, being wrong, but united, says Eggerichs, will do the kids more good than seeing yourself as right and remaining divided as parents, giving the kids the opportunity to play one parent against the other.
If you read my post about decision making, you know that I try to follow the Lord’s leading. When I have a decision to make, I would LOVE for him to clearly point me in the right direction every time. But, he allows us to make decisions in areas that are not black and white in his Word. I recall a decision from several years ago that I struggled to make. I wanted to step out of a leadership position at church, but could not tell whether or not it was the right thing to do. After agonizing and pleading with God to make it clear, he showed me during my Bible reading that He would be with me in either direction. “You decide.” So, I let go of that responsibility, and soon realized that God was leading me into an opportunity to minister to marriages. We walk by faith, not by sight. We do what seems best.
What seems best to one person may seem like a mistake to another. As an American Citizen, I was called on to vote in the presidential election. What a privilege! During the primary season, I chose a candidate, made some donations to his campaign, and purchased some yard signs. However, his run for office ended before our primary. By November , I lacked excitement for any of my options. I easily ruled out the third party candidates and one of the two main hopefuls. Should I leave that race unmarked? That seemed like an opportunity missed. Should I vote for someone I knew little about and write in the name to make a statement, or should I vote for the other main candidate? To some Christians, this decision came easily. Good friends of mine presented their opinions for and against him. I did not hear God say, “Lisa, I want you to vote for …” The day came, however, when I just needed to do what seemed best. As soon as I decided, peace came. I marked my ballot and dropped it off the next day.
Americans are individuals with varied experiences, worldviews, and passions. Interestingly, even Bible-believing Christians have differing views. And each of us did what seemed best. Sadly, we seem unable to accept that truth. The decision has been made. Christians have clear instructions about how to treat each other and how we respond to authority. We are to love, not judge each other. We are to submit to and pray for those in authority so that it will go well with us.