When I was in high school I got a job doing landscaping. We mowed some large lawns that were built and maintained like a golf course. One of the things I learned how to do is cut lawns in those perfectly crosshatched parallels lines. The secret to this is always looking at where you are aimed. It is impossible to mow a straight line by looking at the line, but if we find a destination point in the distance, we can point toward it and it keeps us in direction. The Christian life is much the same way, which is why God spends so much time helping to develop for us a purpose; a point to which we are headed. This Sunday we identified on of those: The goal of our interaction with the world is to reveal God’s goodness in how we trust Him and to help people see that God is the only explanation for the things that they know to be true. We followed this up with the 5 following questions we should ask ourselves when considering how we should respond or what we should say in any specific circumstance:
1. What response would best reveal Jesus to the world?
2. How can I stir affections for God (mine and those around me) in how I act?
3. How can I act in obedience to God in this moment (would it cause me to sin)?
4. How can I play my role in God’s story right now?
5. How can I worship God (reveal my appreciation of what He has done) in how I act
The difficulty here is that you don’t exactly have time, when making a decision, to stop and run everything through a gauntlet of questions. When our friends ask us for advice on an issue that is outside of a direct command of Scripture, we don’t ask them to wait while we write an essay of how to handle the situation. Much of our interactions are more reflex than they are well-considered reaction. So how do these questions help?
They are a way to help reshape our reflexes. Not to settle us into a single position with which to engage all things, but they help create a worldview that changes how we react in the moment. The hardest thing about living as a Christian is that it isn’t cut and dry, it isn’t easy, and it isn’t natural to us. It takes a reshaping of who we are and how we react to the situations we find ourselves in. Keep your head up, look to the future, let God change you, and do your best to serve Him.