[Willow Creek Association] 1998-02-04 - Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Ever wonder how many decisions you make in a day? Take a moment and think about it. The obvious ones come to mind first -- what to wear, what to eat, what work needs to be done first at home, school or in the marketplace. I am not a big fan of grocery shopping (but sometimes I do it with an ulterior motive of course, to get stuff I want!), but gee whiz, recently trying to buy cereal for my Tuesday morning Bible study was a decision-maker's nightmare. There is fat-free with sugar, fat-free low sugar, low-fat, high sugar, wheat versus oat, and on and on! Then the milk, good heavens -- .5%, 1%, 1.5%, 2%, 0% , whole milk, butter milk, milk with something I can't spell added to it, and so forth. Argh! Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The above decisions are not life-changing or even monumental. What about all the what I call the "defining moment" decisions? What about the seemingly gray-area decisions that affect our walk with Jesus, and in my opinion more importantly affect the people around us that may be less mature spiritually or even just spiritual seekers? The kids around my church are wearing these "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets. And I think it is a great question to ask before making any decisions, but gee sometimes, I ask the question "what would Jesus do" and I get a cloudy answer. Maybe its because the answer I get is not the answer I want to hear. : )

So, in studying 1 Corinthians chapter 10, three principles jumped out at me and from these principles three decision-making questions stood out for me. Let's take a look at them.

1 Corinthians 10:24 (NASB) Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

Paul is telling his readers, Live unselfishly. Don't live just to satisfy yourself, but to seek good for your neighbor. It's the same thing you have heard me say many times before, "Love God, Love People." We are all doing the Lord's business 24 hours a day, and folks, the Lord grants no vacation time from His business.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (TLB) When we ask the Lord's blessing upon our drinking from the cup of wine at the Lord's Table, this means, doesn't it, that all who drink it are sharing together the blessing of Christ's blood? And when we break off pieces of the bread from the loaf to eat there together, this shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of his body. No matter how many of us there are, we all eat from the same loaf, showing that we are all parts of the one body of Christ.

The principle here is that we must maintain our unity and witness in living for Christ. God calls us to be separate from the world, to be holy. But God does not call us to be monks or hermits living away from the lost sheep in the world. God expects us to be His light and His salt. Salt standing alone and tucked away in a cabinet does nothing. The salt must get along-side of the food to make a difference. So should we. We must develop relationships with our unchurched neighbors, co-workers, co-students, ect. But we must never compromise our fellowship with the Cross. We communion with Christ, we communicate with the world.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB) Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

This verse says it all for me. Whatever you do, not sometimes when you do some things, but every time you do something, do it to the glory of God. We should have a single-minded focus on glorifying God in all that we do. That is our purpose in life in a nutshell, to bring glory to God.

So, what are the three questions I ask in addition to "WWJD" before making a decision? Glad you asked.

  1. Is what I am about to do a stumbling block to other people? Are my actions going to cause someone around me to have a reason to slam Christianity? Are my actions going to cause a young Christian to question the value of Christianity? The biggest beef non-Christians have against us is that we are just a bunch of hypocrites. Let's don't prove them right.

  2. Can I ask the Blessing of Jesus Christ on this action? Can you honestly pray to Jesus and say, Lord bless this action I am about to take? For lack of a better example let's say you are on a business trip, and you client wants to take you to a "topless" bar. Can you ask Jesus to bless that? Heavens no!

  3. Can I do this and glorify God? Will this decision honor God or dishonor God? Will I be upholding the family name of being a Christ Follower by making this decision in this manner?

Okay, there you have it. Three questions for all these decisions. My prayer for you is to apply these questions to your life and honestly answer them as you feel the Spirit leading you. Decisions, decisions, decisions. What would Jesus do?

Father, we praise you and honor you on Sundays. Help us to bring Glory and Honor to you Monday through Sunday, twenty-four hours a day. Forgive us for missing the mark, for dishonoring You, for causing others to stumble and for doing things the Jesus would never bless. Help us to be sensitive to all our decisions and how they affect You. Father, thank you for this wonderful road map for our lives called the Bible, and mostly we thank You for Your Son Jesus who took our place on that Cross, so that we may live, In His name, Amen.