Decisions, decisions, decisions. Should I accept this job? Should I marry this person? Should I listen to that person’s advice? How do I know what to do?
If I had a dollar for every time I get asked that question, I’d be a rich man. Young and old, rich and poor, married and single, spiritual and non-spiritual people – all struggle with the same question: how do I know the “right” thing to do in the situation I’m in?
This question isn’t an easy one; there’s no simple answer. There’s no formula that I can give you that says “Say this prayer, read this passage and you’ll know what to do.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We aren’t talking about math class where everything breaks down into a nice and neat formula. We’re talking about life and life isn’t always black and white.
So how then are we supposed to figure it out?
Recently something struck me about Jesus and His ministry and how He always knew what to do. I was reading Mark 1 and in it, I realized something about Jesus that I had never fully grasped before. He seemed kinda inconsistent, didn’t He?
I mean, at one point He is teaching the crowds and healing their sick and casting out demons from among them (see verses 21-34). He is gaining popularity and fame which would seem to be in line with His mission of spreading the gospel to as many people as possible (see verses 14-15).
But then, just a few verses later, He decides somewhat abruptly that He is leaving now and moving on to another city:
“And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Mark 1:36-38).
What happened here? Why leave so quickly? Were there no more people here in need of teaching? Or healing? Or casting out of demons? They were all looking for Him which seems like something that He’d like and that would be in line with His mission. So why leave all of a sudden?
And then what’s even stranger is that after He leaves and goes to the next city, He runs into a man suffering from leprosy. The man approaches Jesus in the middle of the street and begs for healing. What will Jesus do?
“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Mark 1:40-41)
HUH? What’s going on here? Why say no to some people and then yes to others? Jesus was just in front of many sick people who were asking for healing and He said no. So why say yes now to this guy?
This issue isn’t just in Mark 1 – you see it throughout the life of Christ. Yes He opened the eyes of the blind, but there were many more blind eyes that He never touched. Yes He healed many sicknesses, but surely there were many that weren’t healed. Yes He raised Lazarus from the dead, but there were many more dead people that He didn’t raise weren’t there?
So how did He know what the right thing to do was?
The easy answer is to say that He is God and He knows everything. Ok, that’s true, but there’s got to be more to it. That answer doesn’t give me much hope that I can figure out the right thing to do since I am not God.
WHAT DO I DO? HOW DO I KNOW WHAT'S RIGHT? HOW SHOULD I MAKE MY DECISIONS?
Unfortunately, there’s no right answer to these questions. I have my answer and I'll be more than happy to share it with in two ways.
First, you can read my answer by checking out THIS POST that I wrote a few years back. Secondly, you can tune in to my scope today at 12:30 pm EST and hear my thoughts on the subject. I will never claim to be an expert on making good choices, but I've learned a thing or two in my experience as a priest and I'll be sharing those thoughts today.
Either way, I hope you realize that ultimately your life is nothing more than the sum of all your decisions. Make good decisions and you’ll probably find yourself in a good place. Make bad decisions and you’ll find the exact opposite. That's why the million dollar question is: HOW DO I MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS?
I'll see you at 12:30 pm.