Cut and Dry vs. Wisdom

19 Dec

Some great truths were discussed at church yesterday, and I just had to share them.

There are two sorts of decisions we make–those that are cut & dry and those that require wisdom.

Cut and dry decisions are the “obvious” ones. You look to see if they are in line with or against God’s commandments. The example we heard was “Is it ok to date a married woman?” Of course not. Don’t even pray about that one.

Then we moved on to the wisdom decisions. The ones like “Which job do I take?” or “Where should we move?” These wisdom decisions are what I had to share. These decisions are the “gray” ones. They are not as cut and dry or obvious. We have to think, make a choice, and risk the outcome.

The pastor started by saying that oftentimes the answer to “What do I do?” is “What do you want?” Psalm 37:4 tells us that when we delight in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts. When we dedicate our life to honoring the Lord, He changes and shapes our hearts toward Him. The pastor also talked about the fact that so many Christians would prefer to be lazy than think and make decisions for themselves. Oftentimes Christians want a decision handed to them for every choice. They do not want to think, consider, ponder, pray, and decide for themselves. I think much of this is a sense of fear and unwillingness to be responsible for our own decisions. We want there to be someone to blame if things don’t go right. We forget that when we choose to follow Christ, we are not guaranteed anything and that things will not always go perfectly. We forget that we are thinking creations and that our thought and choice are what makes us unique among God’s creation. We forget that God created us, knows us, and has not left us to our own devices. We forget that He respects us as thinking and choosing beings and loves us enough to allow us to make poor choices. We forget that He provides us everything to make the right decisions and that He never leaves us in situations we cannot handle. We forget that if we do make a poor choice, God will not leave us. He works all things together for good, despite us (Romans 8:28). We are sure that if we choose poorly, life as we know it will be over, God will punish us, life will be unbearable, and we cannot have that.

We act as if explicit direction is what we want at all times, but we’re fooling ourselves if we really think that. Frankly, Adam and Eve started with the blazing direction from God “Don’t eat that”, and they failed. We ask for God to “give us a sign”, “hit us over the head with a two-by-four”, “send a text message/phone call/e-mail” like we would obey every time. We know that’s not true. We only ask for a sign on decisions that are risky, when we’re selfish, when we’re unwilling to make a decision for ourselves, when we’re scared. We don’t ask God for direction when we decide to make what we know is a wrong choice–when we blur the lines temporarily for what we know to be right conduct for our lives. This is harsh, but it’s definitely true. I’ve never really thought about this before. After leading us in this direction of thinking, the pastor provided us with this thought progression.

1) Does this decision violate God’s command? (Decide if it’s a cut & dry decision, or if you should carry on with more gray area)

2) Is this wise? Based on my past experiences and future goals and dreams, is this a wise decision?

3) Am I equipped to do this?

4) How will this decision impact those I love most?

5) Do something! Don’t sit and wait for God to “reveal” something to you. (Colossians 3: 17)

I loved this. All of it. The questions and the call to action. I hate the conversation of waiting for God to reveal something. When we’ve prayed about it, gone through Scripture, asked fellow believers, and are just stuck. When we ask for a sign. It’s not because we want a god who provides direct answers all the time. We know we won’t be willing to obey all the time. It’s because we’re afraid to make a decision–to risk anything. Someone may have given us advice. Perhaps two people have provided direction in two different ways. We don’t know what to do; whose advice to accept. Is this so we can blame the advice giver if things don’t go well? Think and then act. The turmoil we’re putting ourselves through while we tread water in this place of indecision is worse than any actions that are not dishonoring to God. We need to trust ourselves, make decisions, and move forward with confidence.

Trust God to have told you if the decision is terrible. Trust that if there is no “wrong” answer, you will be fine. Trust that there may be trouble along the way, but that God will help you with that. Go through the steps you know to be right. Seek council, pray, meditate on scripture. Determine an answer. The answer may be path A, path B, wait, or you decide. If it’s you decide, decide. Think for yourself and act. It’s going to be ok.

This is a pretty harsh post. I’m not talking about anyone or any situation in particular. Really, I’m working through some things I haven’t considered before and pushing myself forward. Also, I do acknowledge that sometimes the answer from God is wait. This is not the situation I’m talking about. Obviously if you hear wait, then wait is the thing to do. I think this waiting should not be stressful though. It should be prayed upon and meditated in. What is God teaching in the waiting? Who am I supposed to be while I wait? How does God want to change me? There is always a purpose, and there is always something God wants to change in us.


Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Christ-follower



2 responses to “Cut and Dry vs. Wisdom

  1. slbazo

    December 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you, Jessica. You have a way of putting things so succinctly; this is a subject that comes up often in our lives. We are praying through a decision right now that God has yet to begin to answer. Glad I read this tonight!

    • jalzen

      December 28, 2011 at 6:31 am

      Will be praying for you guys as you make this decision.


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