“Discernment is not meant to be a home in which you live, but a bridge that leads you from one place to another.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 22, 2021
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)
It is remarkably easy to think oneself into inactivity. For me, it is the simple fear of making the wrong decision. If I act without all of the information, without examining every possible outcome or potential liability, I run the great risk of being shamed, disappointed, or punished for my decision. Typically, this is not tied simply to the immediate decision in front of me, but like a seasoned chess player, it is an attempt to think several moves ahead. If I do this now, how will it affect that later on?
If we aren’t careful, this line of thinking will leave us paralyzed in fear, second guessing our decisions at every turn. It has the potential to negatively impact our closest relationships, our vocational trajectory, and even our life with God. In fact, true growth in Christ requires that we accept our limitations. It is simply impossible for you or me to know every possible variable or outcome of the decisions we make! And when we fail to accept that truth, we are left stuck in our own indecisiveness and ultimately, in our failure to trust the Lord’s guiding hand.
In Proverbs 14, we are reminded of the poverty of words without action. We might add to this, the poverty of deliberation without faithful obedience. Wisdom does invite careful reflection and input from trusted voices, yet discernment is not meant to be a home in which you live, but a bridge that leads you from one place to another. Do not miss this point. To perpetually discern without ever acting on your decision diminishes your life and is a path to nowhere.
Once you evaluate and prayerfully assess the decision that lies before you, you must resolve to act, to do the next right thing. Do not let fear of making the wrong decision lead you down a path of inactivity. Proverbs 14 is explicit, “All hard work brings a profit.” I’ve heard it said that it is easier to see where a train is going once it has left the station, and I believe this to be true of our lives as well. With a heart of faith and trust in God, leave the station and get to work, believing the Lord will direct, and if needed, lovingly redirect your steps as you go.
Father, give me the courage to follow as you lead, to work and move forward in faith, not simply thinking or discussing faithful living. Amen.
In what ways are you stuck in discernment or deliberation, when in fact it is time for you to do the next right thing?
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