June 8, 2009

Think It Through

Written by Boyd Bailey

Think It Through… “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later consider his vows.” Proverbs 20:25

Rash commitments can later cause regret. You may feel pressure to proceed ahead without praying it through. Your best thinking is the result of fasting and prayer. Make sure you make a solemn selection, not one based on emotion and another’s expectations. ‘What does God require and expect?’ ‘Is this a commitment that Christ can support?’ Avoid the trap of giving in to guilt. Instead, stand up and say ‘no’ if you are not sure.

There are commitments to Christ and there are promises to people, both require rigorous thought and processing. A career change, attending a different church, a move across the country, even the world, or a vow to vocational ministry, all these necessitate a clear message from your Master Jesus. Wisdom asks, ‘Will this grow my family’s faith?’ ‘Can I be a better witness to Christ’s gospel?’ ‘Will my gifts, skills and passions prosper?’

Moreover, there are vows that do not entail an extra thought process. God expects us to dedicate our children to Him. His desire is for us to walk wisely with people of character. Our obligation in obedience is death to sin, and coming alive in Christ. “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). There is no need to think through trust, love, holiness and humility, only to submit and obey.

Lastly, due diligence is a responsible way to get the right results. When you wait and wisely examine all the options, the best one becomes evident. You will discover a theme in the prayers and counsel of godly advisors. Listen well, gather data, synthesize advice, pray quietly and your commitments will become clear. Will I follow through with my financial commitments, even if it causes me personal sacrifice? Have I thought through the faith required for my Heavenly Father’s call to this season of service? “When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said” (Numbers 30:2).

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 23:23; Ecclesiastes 5:6; Matthew 5:33Acts 5:4

Transformational Living

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