This week I found myself having to say “no” when it would have been easier to say “yes.” While wrestling between what I thought I should do and what I felt uncomfortable doing, I heard myself telling a client, “If you know the right thing to do, that is the thing you must do.”
Dealing with someone else’s decisions can seem amazingly clear. Bring in your own personal world of emotions and the right decision can become anything but apparent. How do we filter out the debris so that we can make wise choices?
When I am helping someone else, I ask questions to identify what is clouding their decision. I want to know if they really don’t know the right choice or is it the possible negative reactions from others that is holding them back. Negative emotions, like feeling guilty over disappointing someone, or the dreading another’s response, can cloud our vision.
If the only thing really blocking the decision is unpleasant emotions and not the question of the rightness or wisdom of the choice, then we have a place to start. We have identified the right direction, now we need to find the most thoughtful way to attain it.
When dealing with negative feelings, it helps me to remember that my life belongs to God and that even if I don’t understand why, I must follow orders. After making a decision a couple of years ago, based on what seemed to be wise counsel, I felt the Lord tell me to not move forward on that decision. I was confused. As I sought the Lord, I felt His leading was clear, but it didn’t make sense to me. I could find no reason for this restraint. As I continued to pray, God brought to mind Deuteronomy 29:29. I turned to it and carefully read, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”
I sensed the Lord saying, “Debbie, the reason for my restraint belongs to my secret things but I’ve revealed what you need to know to obey Me.”
Knowing who you serve clarifies your choices. If I sense that my Captain is directing me in a certain direction, then all I really need to do is clarify that it is indeed He who is leading me. If that is clear, then so is the decision. My Captain is my compass.
If it is His will for me, then it is best for all involved, even if that person is disappointed, angry or does not understand. My job is to humbly follow my Lord and trust the outcome of my walk of faith into His gracious hands. He has it covered.
I might still feel uncomfortable saying, “No.” However I consider it a much better choice to feel a little discomfort while obeying God than being comfortable saying, “No” to Him.
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